A True Community Event Encapsulating the very essence of our nation – diversity, dynamism and colorfulness, and above all else cooperation, community inter-connectedness, creativity and the promotion of our humanity – Pako Festa sends a strong message in these troubled times in which we live: our preparedness to interact with, work with and treat each other with dignity and respect demolishes the walls of division and conflicts; bringing everyone together in a spirit of understanding, acceptance and celebration of life itself.
Pako Festa has always been an opportunity for communities to come together and show their support of each other and after 31 years, we thank members of the following communities who haven’t missed a year of the fun - Croatia, Holland, the Philippines, Greece, Germany, Scotland, Poland, Lithuania, China, Italy, Spain, Macedonia, Slovenia, Serbia, Wales and Ukraine.
Message from the Mayor
The City of Greater Geelong is proud to host Pako Festa, Victoria’s largest multicultural festival.
Pako Festa is Greater Geelong’s much loved celebration of cultural diversity, attracting more than 100,000 people each year.
People from all walks of life enjoy the festival, as it truly encapsulates multiculturalism in our city.
There is an array of cultural food, folk dancing, market stalls, exhibitions, non-stop activities held across five stages, as well as the iconic street parade, that transforms Pakington Street into a lively jam packed festival.
Pako Festa lets people discover new traditions in a fun and practical way, opening the doors to new cultures and customs.
Congratulations to Diversitat and everyone involved in organising this fantastic event. I encourage you to take part in the wide variety of activities and have a great day at Pako Festa!
Cr Keith Fagg Mayor, City of Greater Geelong
Message from the Premier
I am delighted to have this opportunity to send greetings to everyone coming along to the 2013 Geelong Pako Festa, and offer my congratulations to those who have made such a great effort to bring about this much-loved event.
The Pako Festa is one of the largest free celebrations of Australia’s cultural diversity, encouraging visitors to enjoy its festivities in a spirit of understanding and harmony. It is fitting that such an event should be held here in Victoria, where we are all proud of our multicultural identity and our shared commitment to social unity.
For the last 30 years, this event has drawn thousands of Victorians together to celebrate and enjoy a whole host of entertainment highlights, and this year the Festa promises to be bigger and better than ever as it turns 31.With a lively street parade, and a great variety of food, music and cultural traditions to be enjoyed, this festival truly offers something for everyone.
The Festa also showcases many of the cultural and community groups, artists and small businesses that contribute so greatly to Victoria and enrich the cultural fabric of our State. In particular, it is an excellent opportunity to get to know the work of local artisans from Geelong and its surrounding areas.
The Pako Festa has inspired other community groups throughout Victoria to organise and take part in their own events promoting cultural unity, and on behalf of the Victorian Government I congratulate everyone involved, past and present, on such a successful festival.
Above all, I wish everyone – whether you’re from Geelong, or you’ve travelled to be here – an outstanding day at the 2013 Pako Festa.
Ted Baillieu MLA Premier
In 2012 30 communities were represented in the parade and on stage
Additionally 20 communities will have a food stalls selling their cultural cuisine. The Filipino, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Polish, Ukrainian, Welsh, Chinese, Macedonian, Iranian, Croatian, Indian, Greek, Maori, Slovak and Serbian communities will tantalise your tastebuds with food from far and wide.
Pako Festa is pleased to be an “access-friendly” event. Working in conjunction with the Geelong Region’s Inclusive Events Planning Group, we provide activities and services for people of all abilities, and from every part of our community. Our thanks go to all who work so hard to make this day possible.
Pako Festa would like to thank the following community members whom without, Pako Festa would not be what it is today.
Jordan Mavros - former CEO
Claire Nontapan - former Staff
Anne Ekkel - former Staff
Anne Patterson - former Pako Festa Coordinator
Margaret Lewis - former Battle of the Bands organizer
Frank De Stefano - past President
Mardi Janetzki - former Staff
Ana Vrantsis - former Staff
Sofia Saba - former Migrant Resource Centre Coordinator
Toni Siketa - Staff
David O’Brien - former president, secretary and treasurer of Geelong West Traders Association
Strecko Kontelj - past President
George Ballas - past President
Maryanne Burstow - former Migrant Resource Centre Coordinator
For more information contact:
Luisa La Fornara, Arts & Events Manager, Diversitat Ph: 5221 6044
Pako Festa prides itself as being a free event; it is also “access friendly” allowing people of all abilities to share the enriching experience of multiculturalism. All you need to enjoy Pako Festa is a happy heart and an open mind.