A celebration of world cultures

People of different cultures from throughout the world will again descend on Cornwall Park in Hastings for International Cultures Day next month.

The popular event will feature food from all corners of the globe while entertainers from local and visiting cultural groups will bring their own special style to the stage.

Guest performers include the Sri Lankan Dance Academy from Wellington and Auckland's Garage Walla, a Bollywood dance group.

New Zealand China Friendship Society president Sally Russell says she is "very excited" to have the two popular groups joining a wide range of local entertainers.

Students from Te Aute College along with the Fetuao Youth Group from the Wesley Methodist Church in Hastings will take the stage.

Members of the Philippine, Tongan and Thai community will also bring their special talents to the park and there will be a performance from a Chinese children's singing group.

"The Sri Lankan community in Hawke's Bay will showcase their culture while the Russian community are once again bringing their colourful display to the park," says Russell. "About 5000 people regularly attend International Cultures Day and we expect the entertainment to be spectacular and the food, absolutely delicious."

Russell says food will be a feature of the event.

"There will certainly be something which will suit all tastes," she says. "Food will be available from the Chinese, Russian, German, Philippine, Indian, Indonesian, Thai and Sri Lankan communities."

Coinciding with International Cultures Day, the Osmanthus Gardens in Cornwall Park will be lit with Chinese lanterns from Monday, February 25, until Sunday, March 3.

Chairman of Hastings District Council's International Advisory Group Kevin Watkins says "the lights will be turned on until 11pm each night which will give everyone a chance to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the gardens. Lighting the Osmanthus Gardens last year proved to be a resounding success and the 2013 International Cultures Day gives us the ideal opportunity to give the community another a chance to enjoy the gardens by night," Watkins says.

"To complete this year's picture, we will have ambient music playing and this will add to the special feeling that is created by the Osmanthus Gardens."

International Cultures Day takes place on Saturday, March 2, in Cornwall Park, Hastings, with performances starting at 11am and going through until 3.30pm.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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