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Four Free Family-Friendly February Festivals

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by Geraldine Massey (subscribe)
I'm an experienced corporate communicator and editor with an eye for interesting events and an attachment to my trusty Oxford dictionary.
Event: -
Late summer festival fun for the whole family
We're never vulgar here at Weekend Notes so don't be alarmed when I say I have some 'F' words that I need to tell you about - 'Four' 'Free' 'February' 'Festivals', and we'll even throw in 'Family Friendly' for good measure. Yes readers, we know that every month is festival month in Melbourne but the 'F's have aligned for the second month of 2014 with a host of cultural community festivals breaking out all over the city. Here are four of the best.

st kilda festival, family festivals melbourne, music festivals melbourne
Image fromSt Kilda Festival Facebook page.

Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival

Now in its fourth year the Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival pays tribute to the ancient Japanese Bon Festival where people honour their ancestors. What a lovely tradition. Cultural performances will take over the main stage and upper square with displays of taiko drumming, shamisen (a three-stringed, Japanese musical instrument), break dancing and martial arts, while Japanese food stalls will line River Terrace. There will be a prize for the best dressed and Business Class tickets to Japan up for grabs in the raffle.

japanese summer festival, festivals melbourne
Image from event website

When: Sunday 2nd February from 1pm to 5pm
Where: Federation Square
More Information: Visit the website or Facebook page.

Melbourne Latin Summer Festival

One day just isn't enough to present the wonders of Latin culture to Melbourne. This popular multicultural event will demonstrate the cultures of Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Central America, and Peru through outdoor dance classes, roving performers, live bands, kids' activities, handcrafts and food.

latin summer festival, melbourne festivals, festivals federation square
Image from event website

When: Saturday 1st February from 12 noon to 1am and Sunday 2nd February from 12noon to 11pm.
Where: Saturday - Federation Square (River Terrace) and Birrarung Marr. Sunday - Birrarung Marr
More Information: Visit the website.

St Kilda Festival

The St Kilda Festival has been a popular event on the Melbourne social calendar for more than thirty years. That kind of longevity proves its ability to provide something for everyone. It began as a one day event that has gradually morphed into a nine day extravaganza of music and entertainment. This year's festival begins with Yalukit Wilum Ngargee, an indigenous arts and cultural festival, on Saturday 1st February and continues until 9th February with arts, theatre and music performances at a variety of local venues. It concludes with Festival Sunday's free live music, workshops, volleyball, dance, kids' activities and more.

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Image from event website

When: From Saturday 1st February to Sunday 9th February.
Where: Various St Kilda venues. See the festival map here.
More Information: Visit the website or the Facebook page or download the full festival program .

Clayton Street Festival 2014

This one is in the best tradition of street festivals with something for the whole family. Clayton Road will be taken over by cultural dancers, musical performers and school presentations, as well as workshops, food and market stalls and trader displays. The highlights will be the Clayton Festival Parade and, new for this year, The Hawker's Night Market.

clayton street festival, clayton community festival
Free lime snow cone from Clayton Street Festival. Image by avlxyz from Flickr

When: Sunday 23rd February. Festival from 12noon to 6pm, Clayton Festival Parade at 4pm, Hawkers Night Market from 5pm to 8pm
Where: Clayton Road between Railway and Centre Road
More Information: Visit the City of Monash website.
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Why? For full-on festival fun
When: Dates and times vary. See article for details
Where: Various venues. See article for details.
Cost: All FREE to attend.
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