Pitched as New Zealand's coolest little festival, Whanganui's own unique celebration of women and community, La Fiesta, rolls from February 14 to March 8 next year.

The Women's Network co-ordinates this event every year, with the festival the brainchild of its manager and festival co-ordinator, Carla Donson. Invitations to participate in La Fiesta's 11th festival celebration are now open to the public. If you have a great idea for an activity, or would like to run one, the Women's Network would love to hear from you. All activity and event ideas need to be submitted by November 22. Previous festivals have featured food demonstrations, theatrical productions, documentary screenings, creative opportunities, musical performances, and a host of activities to get people moving and having fun.

Ms Donson is thrilled that the programme continues to capture the imagination of people in Whanganui. It has also attracted visitors from across the North Island, as well as visitors from England, Germany, Australia, Canada and the US. The festival earlier this year featured presenters from the Manawatu, Taranaki and Wellington regions. Ms Donson stands by her claim that La Fiesta is unique in New Zealand, and the line-up has previously featured some award-winning female musicians such as Anna Coddington, Amiria Grenell, Jess Chambers and Lisa Tomlins, with award-winning comedian Michele A'Court headlining the festival in 2016, and returning in 2019.

One of the major focal points of the events programme is its celebration of International Women's Day [IWD] commemorated annually on March 8. IWD was established in 1911 and is officially sanctioned by the United Nations as a day to reflect on women's progress and to continue challenging for change. Celebrated as a national public holiday in almost 30 countries around the world, IWD continues to be an important day for political mobilisation and consciousness-raising.


"La Fiesta provides opportunities for our community to meet incredible women going about their ordinary lives in truly remarkable ways, demonstrating their can-do attitudes, courage and profound wisdom. It also showcases some men that are hugely supportive of women and women's leadership," says Ms Donson. "The diverse people of Whanganui are the inspiration for La Fiesta, and everyone is welcome to join the party."

For more information about the festival programme or to register your expression of interest, contact the Women's Network ph [06] 345 6833, email: womnet.whanganui@gmail.com or visit the official festival website lafiestanz.com