"Large streams from little fountains flow, tall oaks from little acorns grow." (in an essay by D Everett in The Columbian Orator, 1797).

The best things in life require patience, dedication and time. Not all of us can wait. Some even die trying. Thankfully, dedication is one of my virtues, and it has paid off as the 11th revolution of La Fiesta rolls into its last two weeks of four, with many events still to experience in the festival as we celebrate women and 11 years of collaboration, partnership and unity. It's a lovely thing.

It began with five years of celebrating one day. Yup, every year on International Women's Day [IWD] — that's March 8 if you haven't cottoned on yet — I'd rally up our volunteers and some colleagues and we'd hit the town for some awareness raising. It generally involved dressing up, giving away free treats, spontaneous hugging of strangers, and visiting work places to offer inspiration amid the piles of paperwork and daily grind. It was such fun that one day never seemed enough to remind ourselves how important we are, how vital women are to our homes and communities. It was also painfully obvious that far too many women didn't even know that this special day existed. That in nearly 30 countries around the world IWD is celebrated as a national public holiday, and in some places as a holiday for women only. For many women it is the only day they get to rest. In countries the world over women still struggle to achieve equality, with limited access to education, employment, and general life opportunities. Women may hold up half the sky, but far too many of us feel the weight of it bearing down upon us.

In honour of IWD this year, the local Zonta club is hosting their annual breakfast event as part of the dynamic line-up this La Fiesta on Friday, March 6 from 7am. Dr Kathryn Wightman is the special guest speaker, renowned as an award-winning glass artist, lecturer and Supreme Winner of the Patillo Award in 2019. Tickets are only $25 for a full buffet breakfast, fine company and inspiring conversation. Contact wanganui@zonta.org.nz to secure yours.

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There are 75 activities in the La Fiesta 2020 line-up with around 50 different individuals, agencies, businesses or teams taking part presenting events. It is a fantastic showcase of community at its best, and it is so exciting to see this event grow from strength to strength every year. From the humble beginnings of one day, an entire community has embraced this unique-in-New Zealand event as it marches on determined to celebrate fun, champion change, and transform your world. There are opportunities for men and women to get together, for young and old to link arms, and for us all to feel a lot chuffed about living in this place we call home. One of my favourite festival events is Frocks On Bikes, our annual tribute to cycling and dressing up, and great fun for all ages. This Sunday, you are invited to express yourself by wearing your finest frock, suit, or super hero costume to join in a family friendly adventure ride around town. All wheels without engines are welcome, including e-bikes and e-scooters. Registrations from 1.30pm at the Ladies' Rest Building, 75 St Hill St, gold coin entry per person.

FROCKS on Bikes, an integral part of La Fiesta, is on this Sunday. From a previous event are Kate Joblin, Annette Main and Debbie Joblin with former MP John Ballance. PICTURE / SUPPLIED
FROCKS on Bikes, an integral part of La Fiesta, is on this Sunday. From a previous event are Kate Joblin, Annette Main and Debbie Joblin with former MP John Ballance. PICTURE / SUPPLIED

Check out the festival guide in full on the official La Fiesta website: lafiestanz.com or via the Women's Network Whanganui and La Fiesta NZ Facebook pages, or drop me a line and I can email you one: womnet.whanganui@gmail.com