Instead of setting off skyrockets on November 5 Whanganui people are invited to a free cultural evening.

It's the twentieth Diwali Cultural Night, to be held at the Whanganui War Memorial Centre, starting around 5.30pm with vegetarian food and sweets for sale. From 6.30 to 9pm there will be items from a range of cultures on the centres' concert chamber stage.

Organiser Vijeshwar Prasad, the president of the Multicultural Council of Rangitikei/Whanganui, intended to use the occasion to farewell Annette Main after her time as Whanganui Mayor. He said the High Commissioner of Pakistan was also keen to come.

The cultural items are to include the Sons of Samoa group from Marton, Cook Island dance and Bollywood dance from Whanganui, Wellington and Palmerston North.

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As well as vegetarian food and sweets at moderate prices people will be able to get a temporary traditional henna tattoo. They will also be in a lucky draw for lunch vouchers from the Tasty Indian restaurant.

For more information, ring Mr Prasad on 021 213 3274.