Auckland is one of the most diverse cities in the world, rich in culture, tradition and culinary delights.
Celebrating diversity has been the main focus of the Auckland International Cultural Festival from its very beginning, when it was established as a fundraiser by the volunteer organisation Refugee Services to align with Refugee Day.
In the eighteen years since, it has grown with Auckland, and now festival-goers can explore the world in a day through food, performances, sports and art.
Albert-Eden-Roskill Councillor Cathy Casey is enthusiastic about the festival.
“It’s become a real highlight on the community calendar. It’s a spectacular celebration of what makes our city unique. With activities representing almost 50 nationalities, people can spend the day exploring the world – they’re bound to discover something they’ve never tried before.”
“There’s a whole new ‘have a go’ zone," explains event organiser Cara Cantwell. "You can join in on a class of yoga or zumba or play some highland games. You can learn to African hair braiding or be decorated with traditional henna tattoos."
Food is always a massive drawcard for the festival. "This year we have some amazing additions, including Oh Sweetie who make Brazilian treats or Olas Latin Food serving up arepas from Venezela," says Cara.
"We’re also very excited to be debuting a fashion line from F Goma, a young Congalese designer who is celebrating her identity with a contemporary twist.”
Although she will be rushed off her feet, Cara is planning to find time to have a dance to festival headliners Kantuta’s Latin fusion sounds, take in the raw emotion of the cultural football tournament and sample some Hungarian flatbread, Brazilian truffle and a cheeky lassi.
With so much to see, hear, taste and do, the Auckland International Cultural Festival 2017 will be a vibrant free event for the whole family. See event details
Cara’s top tips for the International Cultural Festival
- Arrive hungry! There will be more than 50 stalls selling food you may have never tried.
- Remember sunscreen on the day or raincoat if wet and wear comfy shoes.
- Bring cash – there will be cash out facilities at the entrance but you don’t want to waste any time when you could be browsing the stalls.
- Bring the kids – there will be two dedicated areas catering for them, with face painting and bouncy castles.