MORE than 2500 people from all backgrounds came together to celebrate Warrnambool’s diversity at Saturday’s Gnatannwarr Multicultural Festival.
Families and friends crowded the Civic Green for the celebration of multiculturalism, which included ethnic music, dance, food and art.
The festival showcased traditional dances from the Chollo Dancers, African drumming and dance with Wild Moves and music from Valanga and Andrea Khoza.
Bollywood dancers from the Gowri Dances of India Company also demonstrated moves to the audience after their colourful performance.
Council spokesperson Kim Sweetnam said that since 2005 the Gnatannwarr Multicultural Festival had increasingly represented the Warrnambool community’s growing diversity.
“The festival is now an established event on the Warrnambool calendar and has been growing and evolving over the years,” she said.
“It started out as a quite small festival, with not a huge range of cultures represented, but that’s definitely grown a lot in the last few years.
“It started at a time when Warrnambool didn’t have the strongest multicultural community, but over the last few years the diversity of our community is now strongly represented in the festival.
“It’s been getting bigger and stronger, and has a lot more support from the community.
“We observed that yesterday with the Civic Green packed with people all day.”
Ms Sweetnam said the council considered Saturday’s event “a roaring success”.
“The crowds reacted very well to the Bollywood dances.
“They all got up and tried to wriggle their toosh as appropriately as possible.
“There were cues at all the food stands – Chinese, Indian, Sri Lankan, Indigenous, Dutch and Middle Eastern food was all represented for lunch.
“There was a wide mix of people represented too. We had people of all races enjoy the festival at the green yesterday.”
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