Pako Festa dates back to 1983, when the Ethnic Communities Council Inc. got together with Geelong West Traders and Geelong West City Council with an ambitious idea for a community-driven party that celebrated the region’s diverse cultural communities. Much has changed since 1983. The very first Pako attracted 12,000 people and ended with a tug of war! In 2020 (38 years later), over 110,000 people attended, 5,000 people took part in the street parade and performed across five performance stages.
These days the festival is organised by Diversitat and has grown into one of the largest free multi-arts and cultural party. Some things remain the same. Pako is about community and is led by community. The event celebrates and highlights the extraordinary contribution of individuals, cultural groups and multicultural communities in Geelong and across the region.
Pako Festa, is Geelong’s much loved, award-winning, free, annual community street festival – the biggest of its kind in Australia. A very important aspect of Pako Festa is in its provision for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities to continue to affirm and honour their contributions to Pako Festa over its 38-year history. Since its inception the event continues to be a major event on the community calendar.
We anticipate a broader event for 2021 across more locations in Geelong than just Pakington Street, but still with the traditional cultural food offerings, music and displays. The Pako Festa message of diversity, togetherness and inclusion is more important now than ever before.
The reimaged event, starting on the 27th Feb runs until the end of March, themed “Elements of Culture”, will focus on cultural food, traditional costumes, music, entertainment, art installations and night projections.
The 2021 Pako Festa is delivered by Diversitat and is supported by The Victorian State Government and the City of Greater Geelong. In addition, it cannot be delivered without the support of the local diverse communities, the Pakington Traders and many other local and non-local organisations and businesses.
Come and join us at Pako Festa and most importantly discover and share the enriching connections of community and culture. To keep up to date on the 2021 event and the full program of activities visit www.pakofesta.com.au and facebook
Pako Festa Event Director Luisa La Fornara:
“COVID-19 is a very fluid situation and we continue to work very closely with the authorities and the Geelong ethic communities to create an event that is appropriate for where things will be in February 2021.”
“At this stage, we anticipate a broader event across more locations in Geelong than just Pakington Street, but still with the usual cultural food offerings, music and displays.”
“We are also considering night projections and online content to further enhance the event.”
“We can’t wait to announce more details as soon as they’re available.”
Diversitat Acting CEO Brian McMahon:
“We know that 2020 has been a tough year for Geelong, which is why we’re determined to make Pako Festa 2021 a major event – we feel the Pako Festa message of diversity, togetherness and inclusion is more important now than ever before.”
“We’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the support of the City of Greater Geelong and the Victorian government.”
“We thank them for their ongoing support of the event and our vision.”