The flavours of the world were on offer at Saturday's 18th annual Multicultural Festival.

Popular as ever, the festival attracted more than 2000 people to its 30 food stalls and 20 cultural performances in Historic Village.

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Though making up a relatively small portion of Tauranga's population, the multicultural community put on a feast for the eyes, ears and mouth.

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The Polish food stall was humming with a constant flow of people lining up to taste traditional Polish sweet treats.

Polish cheesecakes and treats at the multicultural festival. Photo/Andrew Warner
Polish cheesecakes and treats at the multicultural festival. Photo/Andrew Warner

"We've come very year to the festival for four years and it's always chaotic," Halina Footner said.

In front of her were folding tables groaning under the weight of plate after plate of delicious-looking Polish desserts.

"Here we have 'chrusciki' - angel wings made of crisp sweet pastry shaped into thin twisted ribbons," she said.

"Over here there's a very traditional cheesecake called 'serniki', it has yogurt drained overnight, cream cheese, eggs, mandarin and raisins soaked in rum."

Everyone was always interested to try the unusual desserts, Ms Footner said.

Alice Tak-Hewlitt 7, and Elma Lee 8 from Korea at the multicultural festival. Photo/Andrew Warner
Alice Tak-Hewlitt 7, and Elma Lee 8 from Korea at the multicultural festival. Photo/Andrew Warner

A group of volunteers from the Polish Community Trust had been baking all week in preparation for the festival.

All of the proceeds will go towards the Polish school in Tauranga - to keep Polish culture, language, legends and customs alive.

Teacher Magdalena James said the school helped bring "that strange country of Poland" just a little bit closer to New Zealand.

It was Argentinian Adriana Avendano's first time hosting a food stall at the festival.

On offer were mince empanadas - "I made 120 of them and I've already sold half so I think people are liking them," she said.

She said the festival was an opportunity for the community to come together and get to know each other.

The 18th annual Tauranga Multicultural Festival was a feast for the eyes, ears and mouth. There were more than 20 cultures represented at the festival held at Historic Village.

Mount Maunganui's Kelsey Wright said she could not decide what food to get and would probably end up trying everything.

"They'll have to wheel me out of here I'll be so full," she laughed.

"It's fascinating to see all the cultures we have here in Tauranga, because often all you see is Europeans. It's good to know the multicultural community are holding on to their customs and traditions and sharing them with us."

The stage set up on the Village Green had a revolving array of cultural performances including Bollywood dancing, belly dancers, Israeli dancing and gypsy dancers.

At least 20 cultures were represented at the festival including Polish, Czech, Russian, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Samoan, Indian, Greek and Argentinian.