Pasifika to upsize for 2013

The Pasifika Festival is to expand to become a two-day event next year.

Organisers, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) have announced that the event will now take place over a weekend, with the date set down of Saturday March 9 and Sunday March 10 next year.

The festival will stay at Western Springs, but will run from 10am-5pm both days.

Mayor Len Brown has welcomed the news.

"Pasifika is already one of the biggest events of its kind anywhere in the Pacific. The expansion to a two day event is great news for Aucklanders and visitors alike.

"Pasifika is consistently rated as one of the most popular and important events on Auckland's major events calendar, but it has the potential to keep growing into something even more special."

He said Pasifika 2013 will give people a "better than ever authentic Pacific experience".

ATEED acting general manager of destination Jennah Wootten says the 2013 event will see an increased emphasis on tradition and authenticity in the festival villages and new Pan-Pacific areas introduced.

"Pasifika Festival includes villages representing 10 Pacific nations - Cooks Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga, Tokelau, Tuvalu and Aotearoa."

Traditional food and craft will be sold in the villages under newly designed stall shells. Stalls selling non-traditional items or items from more than one Pacific Island will be located in the Pan Pacific areas.

Pasifika Festival began life at Western Springs in 1992 and introduced the village concept in 1998. In 2008 it was rated as the most important arts event or activity to Aucklanders in the Creative New Zealand New Zealanders and the Arts survey. It used to run as an opening ceremony on Friday night, then during the day on Saturday.

Pasifika Festival sits alongside the Lantern Festival and Diwali Festival of Lights as one of Auckland's key cultural events.

ATEED wants to hear from anybody interested in having a stall at Pasifika Festival 2013. Applications are open from now until October 19. See the criteria here.

See Twittering about Auckland.

Have you been to Pasifika? Have your say below.

- The Aucklander

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