2015 Pako Festa
One of Australia’s biggest and best multicultural celebrations, the Pako Festa is returning to the streets of Geelong West on Saturday the 28th of February for what promises to an amazing day of music, food, dance and celebration.
The Pako Festa has been a staple on the Geelong major events calendar since 1983 and draws crowds in the vicinity of 100,000 each year to the huge street party. The day starts with a vibrant and colourful parade beginning at 11:00 AM . Thousands line the streets to see dozens of community groups and organisations perform and parade down Pakington Street. Many are dressed in their national dress or are wearing incredible costumes, there’s lots of music, elaborate floats and so much energy making for an amazing atmosphere.
After the parade the streets and park lands around Pakington Street transform into an huge festival featuring a wide array of multicultural food, market stalls and performance spaces.
There are many highlight during the day, but one event not to miss is the opening ceremony and welcoming from the local Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative. The ceremony takes place at 12:10 PM with welcoming by civic leaders and organisers followed by the Wathaurong community around half an hour later at a stage in West Park.
The West Park stage hosts multicultural performances all afternoon, with so many groups taking part including the Croatian Community, Bosnian Dance Group, Serbian Dance group and the Indonesian and Maori communities.
The Diversitat Stage also has a full program of performance with many groups celebrating with dance. Here you will see Club Italia Geelong, The Andalucia Spanish Dance Group, Meizei Viag Hungarian Dance Group, and Geelong Scottish Dance group just to name a few of the more than a dozen performances.
The Chanel Seven stage set up outside the Geelong West Town Hall is a favourite especially with the youth, with celebrities from some of Chanel 7’s biggest shows on hand to meet and greet. There is a My Kitchens Rules Cook Off and an amazing Bollywood Performance and Workshop. Later in the afternoon this stage will host the amazing Wadaiko RINDO Japanese Drumming and Tunjos y Cantaros Colombian Dance Group.
The Bay FM stage is also expected be a popular place to catch some great acts, here highlights will include the fabulous Geelong Jukebox Rockers and Groove Juice.
The Petrel Stage outside the historic Petrel Hotel has been a traditional favourite for the festival with a great afternoon of blues music planned. Rory Elis and Andrew Toner will start the afternoon off before Kite Machine and Cor Ten entertain the crowd with their great sounds.
This year the Pako Festa will include a family precinct where there will be performances and workshops tailored especially for the young. Mr Peabody and Sherman’s Dance Group and the Wild Moves drumming highlights are only two of the great show planned.
For food lovers, there is no better place than the Pako Festa. The entire length of the festival will feature dozens of food stalls offering some of the most delicious foods from around the globe. There will be some incredible choices including Polish, French, Croatian, Welsh, Maori, Afghan and even Australian with the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-op featuring kangaroo kebabs.
This year the Pako Festa is holding an after party with Melbourne indi band British India headlining a huge show at the West Town Hall.
For those travelling from outside Geelong, Pakington Street is around a five to ten minute walk west from the Geelong railway station.