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Multiculturalism at its most colourful at Geelong attraction’s Pako Festa
The annual Pako Festa brings Geelong’s cosmopolitan Pakington Street alive every February with a blaze of colour, sounds and aromas.
The dazzling Carmen Miranda was a Portuguese-born Brazilian samba singer, Broadway actress and Hollywood film star popular in the 1940s and 1950s, and her enormous, fruit-laden hat is symbolic of the joy and colour of Pako Festa.
The festival is a joyful celebration of all things multicultural. From the official welcoming by the traditional owners of a large part of the Geelong region, the Wathaurong people, to the 60 or more community and ethnic groups that participate, the colour and fun of the day is without compare.
In the morning hundreds of people representing a variety of ethnic groups don their national dress, play their national instruments and take part in the great Pako Parade down Pakington street, much to the delight of thousands of spectators.
As the theme this year is The Beat of Pako, Drum Out! is a new feature which will get participants and onlookers alike into the spirit of the festival.
For some months leading up to the Pako Festa, about 300 participants from the Croatian, Dutch, Italian, Irish, Congolese, French, Maori, Lithuanian, Polish, Karen, Chinese, Spanish and Japanese communities have taken part in workshops to learn drumming skills. Some have even built their own instruments from recycled materials.
Along with up to 250 school students, the percussionists will head the great Pako Parade at 10.45am as an upbeat, vibrant way to herald the Parade.
The much loved West Geelong Fire Brigade will bring up the rear of the parade and signal the transformation of Pakington Street into a carnival of food and culture.
The colour and movement of Dutch Clog dances, a Filipino dance troop, Greek dancing and magnificent Thai dancing in traditional costume will delight onlookers.
Roaming entertainment and music will provide a high point with a choice of Mexican, African drums, a Croatian band or a good old fashioned Aussie bush band, to name but a few.
For more information on Geelong attractions, visit http://visitgeelongbellarine.com/
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About Visit Great Ocean Road: The official website of the Geelong Otway region of the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia