The Square was full of activities yesterday during the 2020 Festival of Cultures in Palmerston North, New Zealand. The fantastic sunny summer day was perfect for the finale of the festival and World Fair. The week-long iconic festival organised by Manawatu Multicultural Council (MMC) and the City Council, began on Saturday, February 29th and ended on 7th March.

The Festival is a unique showcase of cultural diversity, arts, songs, dance, crafts, costumes, cuisines and entertainment. Thousands of people attended this year’s events during the week. The fun family day out attracted performers, locals, thousands of festivalgoers and dignitaries from over 21 countries. There were lots of stalls for food, games, arts and crafts from various countries.

Brahman stall serving Indian foodies at the Festival (Photo: GegeNews)

People queuing up at Paella Pan for Spanish cuisine during the Festival (Photo: GegeNews)

Ukrainian food, arts and crafts on display at the Festival (Photo: GegeNews)

Visitors checking out South African cuisine at the Festival (Photo: GegeNews)

Visitors exploring food, arts and crafts from Tonga, Cook Islands, Samoa during the festival (Photo: GegeNews)

Tourists scanning through luscious options at Syrian food stall during the Festival (Photo: GegeNews)

Chilean and Thai food on display at the Festival (Photo: GegeNews)

Brazilian stall offering food varieties at the festival (Photo: GegeNews)

Egyptian food, arts and crafts on display at the festival (Photo: GegeNews)

Unforgettable moments with stage performances

Performers include, Heavey Blarney Band from Palmerston North and Iranian Avatone music group from Wellington. Others are Te Piringa Kapa haka group, Manawatu Bangalee Society, Focus Youth, and Egyptian Mazika Dum. Raz Judah and Cultural Embassy Band from Wellington rocked the stage with a blend of reggae and African fuji music. Also, IPU Kodama Drum Group and C-26 Brazilian Salsa band from Wellington performed on stage.

Iranian Avatone Band performing at the Festival (Photo: GegeNews)

Heavey Blarney Band performing on stage at The Square during the Festival (Photo: GegeNews)

Raz Judah and the Cultural Embassy Band from Wellington perfoming at the festival (Photo: GegeNews)

Mazika Dum, Egyptian drummers performing at the festival (Photo: GegeNews)

Fijian Community dance group performing on stage at the Festival (Photo: Deborah Edwards)

Other performances include the Shree Dance Academy – Kids Bollywood, Karen Society dance, and Le Masina o Samoa. Chinese Cultural Centre from Wellington, Fijian Community, Manawatu Russian dance, Sri Lankan community and a whole lot of other groups performed on the stage as well.

Dancing to the tune. Lots of fun at the festival ground (Photo: GegeNews)

Mayor’s welcome

During his speech, the Mayor of Palmerston North City Council, Grant Smith acknowledged the efforts of Rana Naser and her team of volunteers at the Manawatu Multicultural Council (MMC) for working tirelessly to make the event such a success. He described the festival as an iconic celebration of the City. “The Festival of Cultures is an iconic and well-established Palmerston North’s celebration…One of the longest standing community events in Palmerston North City and it really does make a huge contribution to our City’s identity,” said Grant.

Palmerston North City’s Mayor, Grant Smith, delivering speech during the Finale of the Festival of Cultures 2020 and World Fair Day (Photo: GegeNews)

Mayor Grant Smith pose with Nancy Mutai from the Kenyan High Commission (Photo: GegeNews)

Some cultural outfits captured during the festival (Photo: GegeNews)

Grant welcomed representatives of governments present, which include diplomats from Australia, Belarus, Cooke Islands and Egypt. Others are Fiji, India, Indonesia, Island, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Niue, Pakistan, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, and South Africa. Also, dignitaries from UAE, and Vietnam were present.

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