Pako Festa, now in its thirtieth year, is Geelong's much loved,
award-winning, free, annual community arts festival - the biggest
of its kind in Australia.
Managed by Diversitat and held on the last weekend of February
in Pakington Street, Geelong West, "the multicultural heart of
Geelong", it incorporates an extravagant street parade featuring
around ninety floats and hundreds of performers representing
forty-five affiliated ethnic communities and around sixty other
community groups and organisations.
The street is lined with stalls selling traditional foods and
arts and crafts, and nine separate stages in the precinct offer
performances of music and dance as well as interactive workshops
and exhibitions. Pako Festa has become Victoria's premier
multicultural event, attended by well over 100,000 people in each
of the last three years and estimated to inject close to $2.5
million dollars into the local economy just over the course of the
Pako Festa offers a unique opportunity for those 100,000-plus
participants to socialise and celebrate in an arena of ethnic
diversity and harmony, as well as gaining an appreciation of the
great variety of artistic and cultural expression within Geelong's
multicultural community As part of Pako Festa's thirtieth birthday
celebrations we are planning a number of "homages" to its history.
Art on Parade, a sculptural/mechanical mobile installation using
recycled materials from previous Festivals and which would be a
"float" leading the parade and afterwards would be dismantled into
discrete "sculptures" and be transformed into a "gateway" to the
festival at the end of Pakington Street, and later still put on
display in various local venues for the rest of the year.
Our affiliated communities will be invited to participate in the
project with the support and guidance of a local artist, thus
offering an excellent opportunity for cross-cultural cooperation
and artistic exchange.
Community representatives will gain the creative satisfaction
and community pride inherent in completing the project; similarly
the guiding artist will be given an opportunity to discover and
experience the artistic styles and attitudes of cultures they may
not otherwise have encountered, as well as developing the
communication skills required for a project involving such genuine