The Pako Festa is a festival that celebrates diversity and cultures from many different countries. It is a celebration of everything that is great about Australia, and it's about our acceptance of other cultures, food, dance, costume, in a huge day of fun and festival atmosphere.
The Pako Festa is a way for Geelong to celebrate this much loved community arts festival. And this is the 34th year of the Pako Festa in Pakington Street, Geelong West. Pakington Street is the multicultural heart of Geelong, and what better way to celebrate our multicultural nation than to hold a parade down Pakington Street, followed by a street fair, with stalls, activities, displays, food and fun. The Street Parade starts at 11.00am, with 90 floats and hundreds of performers.
The Pako Festa is proudly bought to you by Diversitat. It is a free event, with everybody welcome to come along and watch the parade and stay around for dancing and entertainment. You will need to pay for the food from the food stall holders, and there are also stalls selling arts and crafts.
There will be multicultural food stalls lining Pakington Street after the parade. You can try food from many different cultures, or you can step in to one of the bars or cafés along Pakington Street for refreshments. The idea of Pako Festa is to embrace the diversity and harmony of the many different ethnic groups who will be at the Festa. Enjoy the music, dancing and different foods, as Pako Festa turns on a range of artistic and cultural events to show off the multicultural community within Geelong.
Some of the hiighlights of the 2016 Pako Festa
Five stages with back to back performers Roving Street performances Freeza Youth Stage Workshops Craft Displays
A Giant Screen that will showcase images from the past 30 years
A Smorgasbord of Multicultural Food
Pako Festa After Party from 6.30pm at the Geelong West Town Hall
There is a program of events available on the Pako Festa web site. I will highlight some of the children's events below:
Most of the children's activities will be held at the Family Entertainment Precinct at the West Town Hall.
Children and Families can enjoy continuous entertainment from 12.30pm. There will be dancing, songs, a puppet show and a hula-hoop-athon. (Bring your own hula hoop.)
Enjoy "The Adventures of Herbert & Valerie" at 12.30pm, at the Geelong West Town Hall.
There will be a Carousel Theatre Puppet Show at 1.10pm, at the Geelong West Town Hall. The Puppet Show is Sleeping Beauty.
Judith Lanigan will hold a Hulu Hoop-a-Thon at 2.10pm, at Geelong West Town Hall. Judith Lonigan will also be out on the street performing, with her "10 things not to do on a ladder" show.
At the Geelong West Library there is going to be "Pako Festa Storytelling from 1.00pm to 2.00pm. Phone 03 4201 0500 to book your children in for the story telling.
At the Westpac Community Hub, from 12.00noon to 4.00pm, there will be Children's activities. Come along for the world challenge face painting, pop up performances by Fun Arts (1.00pm), and Judith Lonigan performing "5 things you should never do on a Ladder" (3.00pm).
The Filipino Dance Group is a part of the Filipino Social Club of Geelong Inc. It was formed in 1982. The dance group has 10 active members who have been busy preparing for their "Bulaklakan" cultural dance in the Pako Festa 2016 parade, and for their stage presentation on the Diversitat Stage at 2.45pm.
The Filipino Social Club celebrates 35 years in June. The dance group will be happy to perform at other community events. The Filipino Social Club will have a food stall at the Pako Festa.
The Andalucian Spanish Dancing Group has performed at Pako Festa for the past 34 years. There are three age groups, young people aged between 4 and 8 years, the medium group aged between 9 and 15 years, and the senior group aged 16 and above.
Performing at Pako Festa is a highlight of the year for the Andalucia Spanish Dancing Group. Their style of dance is beautiful and expressive and mixes intricate hand and footwork which extend to wonderful arm and body movements.
Andalucia welcomes anyone who wishes to learn the Flamenco Dance, from Beginners to Advance, and both adults and children are welcome.
The Andalucia Spanish Dance Group will be in the parade and will perform on the Diversitat Stage at 1.30pm.
The Bosnian Lily-Geelong Association Inc was founded almost 10 years ago. There are several different sections of the Association, including female crafts, a fishing group, dancing groups, traditional folk dancing youth group and children's dancing group. Some of the groups participate in community, local, state and interstate activities.
The current membership is mostly made up of people from a Bosnian background, however the association is open to people who love friendship, laughter and gathering together.
The Dance groups will be performing on the Diversitat Stage at 1.15pm.
There is so much more happening on the day of the Pako Festa. Head to Pakington Street for the parade, the dancing, arts and crafts, food trucks and food stalls. Diversitat Wholefoods pop up café will offer healthy snacks and refreshments for all the family to enjoy!