2016 Pako Festa
In a tradition dating back to 1983 Saturday the 27th of February will see the Pako Festa transform West Geelong into one of the country’s biggest and best multicultural celebrations for a day of music, food, vibrancy and harmony.
Organised by Diversitat, the Pako Festa is one of Geelong’s favoirte events attracting tens of thousands of people to the parade and huge street party stretched along Pakington Street and its connected public spaces and lanes.
The day kicks off with a huge street parade down Pakington Street starting at Waratah Street and finishing up at Autumn Street outside West Park. Starting at 11:00 AM the hour long parade will attract tens of thousands of spectators and dozens of multicultural and community groups. The parade is an incredible spectacle with many groups dressed in their traditional dress in stunning colours. The parade sees music from all over the world, with rhythms and song from different cultures adding to the amazing atmosphere.
At the conclusion of the parade many visitors head to West Park to be welcomed by the Watharong People, with some incredible indigenous music and dance from the Deadly Dancers and the traditional Welcome to Country. This is followed by some VIP and dignitaries welcomes and the announcement of the best displays in the parade, before the music and dance takes over the stage for the remainder of the afternoon. There are stages set up right along the festival precinct hosting a wide range of music, dance and entertainment. The young flock to the stage outside the West Town Hall to meet and greet some of the stars from Chanel 7’s favourite shows and see the MKR cook off.
The other stages around the precinct will feature a wide range of multicultural displays including dance and song. There are also many interactive displays where people can join in and learn to dance including some of the ever popular South American dances.
Be sure to come to the festival hungry as there will be huge array of tasty treats to try, with community stalls set up along Pakington Street. There will be foods from all over the world from BBQ meats, smallgoods, rice dishes and many other exotic international fare.
For those out of town, rail is the easiest way to get to the Pako Festa, the Geelong Railway station is around a 10 minute walk from Pakington Street. Exit the station heading away from the city centre.