A salute to different nationalities

"My dreams for Aotearoa" is the theme behind the 14th Tauranga Multicultural festival - an event designed to coincide with and celebrate Race Relations Day.

It's a salute to different nationalities and a fantastic opportunity for locals to get an insight into other cultures and embrace traditions that are important to migrants.

Spokesman Ewa Finn says the festival has become "quite famous" and last year about 5000 people enjoyed the revelry.

"I think it has become renowned for the combination of fantastic performers and a huge selection of ethnic food and a lot of people come to enjoy both," she says.

The entertainment line-up is impressive, with the Caribbeanz Southern Stars Steel band making their first appearance.

"They are a new edition to the festival and are a performing group from various Caribbean Islands who are very authentic and very loud," Finn says.

Other talented bands from the Bay of Plenty, including kapa haka and Pacific Island groups, will showcase their skills.

Another highlight of the festival is the costume parade.

"This is brilliant as we have people from various dressed in traditional costumes and they get to parade through the Historic Village at 17th Ave with the names of the countries they are from on placards," says Finn.

Finn says it's a fabulous family event and they are encouraging everyone to make it a day event, not just come for a few hours.

A great variety of ethnic food stalls, arts and crafts will be set up as and many service providers will have stalls, where any newcomer to the city can find useful information.

Race Relations Day is officially held on March 21 and the Tauranga Multicultural Festival is held in recognition of that five days earlier, organised by the Tauranga Multicultural Council.

The Fine Print

What: Tauranga Multicultural Festival

Where: Historic Village, 17th Ave

When: Saturday March 16, 10am to 4.30pm.

Adults $6, children under 12 with adult free

- Bay of Plenty Times

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