A new family-friendly multicultural festival heading to Wollongong this October is designed to be a big free party to showcase the many cultural and language backgrounds that make up the community.
Culture Mix will have music, dance, workshops, art installations, cooking workshops plus food from around the world. It will play out across various locations in the CBD like the Town Hall, Arts Precinct, library and art gallery from 12pm to 8pm on Saturday October 21.
Musical delights include folk-roots based Latin American sounds, mariachi, vibrant Doumbek drumming, jazz, indie pop, Persian-inspired poems, Indian classics and contemporary, First Nation's hip hop, Balkan boogies to get you dancing and more.
This is a free and inclusive event for all the family.
Fore more details, visit: www.wollongong.nsw.gov.au/explore/art-and-culture/culture-mix
All on-street parking is free in the Wollongong CBD after 12.30pm on Saturdays. There are also several off-street car parks around the CBD. Council's off-street metered car parks are free on weekends.
Public transport is a great option. Wollongong is part of the Sydney Trains network. Trains are a great way to get around locally, or between Wollongong and Sydney. The Free Gong Shuttle Bus (55A and 55C) links the CBD to the railway. Details: Public Transport | Wollongong City Council (nsw.gov.au) There are also many cycleways and share pathways in the Wollongong CBD for those who prefer to cycle to the event.
12pm to 6pm, 90 Crown Street and Lower Mall
Step into the cultural kitchen and be inspired with five signature dishes to be presented by community-based groups for people to watch, learn and taste.
Enjoy cooking demonstrations and workshops on how to make each dish and you may even get a delicious sample to taste at the end like rice paper rolls, Persian kebabs, Thai sticky rice and banana,South American Asado plus Serbian Cevapi.
12pm to 8pm, Lower Crown Street
Think of it like an international Eat Street market with a variety of stalls serving up tasty foods from around the world including; Australian Natives, Chilean, Iranian, Karenni, Nepalese, Serbian, Sri Lankan, Syrian and Turkish.
12pm to 8pm, in front of 84 Crown Street
A diverse range of community dance groups, choirs and children's groups will take to the "Food Fair Stage" on Crown Street (near the corner of Kembla Street).
Performers include (in order of appearance): Illawarra Indochinese Aged Social Support Group, Chinese Australian Service Society, Wollongong Chinese Seniors Association, Tampo Dancing Group, Chinese opera singer Tiancheng Wang, Gumaraa Junior Dance Troupe, MKUD Makedonski Biseri, Matt Walker, Putri Ayu Indonesian Dance, African singer Dorcas, Congalese Uniting Choir, Yau Kung Mun Lion Dance Team, Chilean folk group Amanecer, Illawarra Thai School, Vietnamese Community in Wollongong, Djaadjawan Dancers, St John the Baptist Serbian Orthodox Folkloric Ensemble "Serbia", St John the Baptist Choir, Tender Community Choir, Nachle Dance School, Bollywood song group Electric Korma.
12pm to 7pm, Wollongong Art Gallery, BlueScope Room
The Women's Space provides a safe and private space for cross-cultural women to connect through a series of interactive workshops and performances.
Open to women and girls of all-abilities aged children to adults.
Activities include creative art workshop and installation, Madedonian women's traditional dance performance, the Tender Women's Choir, Bollywood dance workshop, traditional African dancing and storytelling, watch and learn Persian dance session, DJ Bria mixing global music.
There are creative sessions and activities at Town Hall (12-8pm), Wollongong Art Gallery (12-7pm) and Wollongong Library (12-7.30pm).
Inside the Town Hall will be six local artists creating works in the foyer where the public can join in too. Over at the Music Lounge will be an array of activities and workshops like: a drumming circle, Colombian songs and rhythms, North Indian classical music, Macedonian songs, Maori songs and ukulele, a dance battle, poetry, and ending the day with a Karaoke World Cup.
The Wollongong Art Gallery will host workshops in Islamic tile design and Chinese ink painting.
Inside the library there will be activities like: the Korean Haenyeo Show, a sensory puppet show, K-Pop dance workshops, poetry, Indigenous weaving workshop, Japanese musical workshop (suited for blind or low vision), and sushi making.
The library will also have "traditional games" with an AUSLAN interpreter from 1pm to 3pm in the foyer.
12pm to 8pm, Arts Precinct, Burelli Street
From Persia to South America to the Cook Islands, nations of the world will be celebrated in Wollongong wotj various performances in the Arts Precinct (near IPAC).
Performers include (in order of appearance) : Bollywood Exclusive Dance School, MKUD Makedonski Biseri, Maco Oro and Macedonian Women's Group ORO, Putri Ayu Indonesian Dance, EMU Spirit: Wollongong High School of Performing Arts First Nations Dance Trio, Hanfu Performers, SIRIUS Dance Crew, Persian Ladies Dance Group, Australia East Band, Vietnamese Community in Wollongong, Ng Hau E Wh Mori , Yau Kung Mun Lion Dance TeamCulture Group, Tango Sur Dance School, Street Beatz, Plonova Dance, Inangaro Paradise, Yanggaa Garaba Dance Ensemble, Lucky African Dance, Kween G + DJ Lady Chika, female drummers Ile Ilu, Latin Power.
12pm to 8pm, Lower Crown Street, adjacent to Ha Long Bay
This stage will offer a global soundtrack for you while you eat, drink and shop in Lower Crown. Take delight in authentic cultural music styles and contemporary interpretations of world music.
Performers include (in order of appearance): Cha Cha del Mar, Gerardo Montoya, Clocks and Clouds, Aiwa, Somnia, Avaye Rood, Korma Kids Youth Orchestra, Prodikal-1, Disco Nonna, and Balkan Boogie.
2.15pm to 5pm, Wollongong Uniting Church, 116 Crown Street
There will be a few performances at Wesley Church for all to enjoy.
Catch the Wollongong Con Junior String Orchestra from 2.15pm to 2.35pm, and Soprano Aye Gknur Shanal and pianist David Vance from 4pm to 5pm.
12pm - 8pm, Lower Crown Street and 12pm - 6pm, Lower Mall
A "cultural bazaar" market will be found on the lower part of Crown Street and the mall and will be filled with global arts and crafts, with a strong focus on Aboriginal culture and crafts.
Coomaditchie United Aboriginal Corporation will also be running mural, beading and earring making workshops for you to take part in.
Headspace Wollongong will also be promoting their youth mental health resources in a number of different languages and hosting a "Guess the Flag" activity with prizes on offer.
12pm to 6.30pm, Lower Crown Street Mall
This all-ages, all abilities interactive space will be brought to life with a dancefloor, DJ sets of global music, and dance lessons. If you need to take a break from the global dance party, immerse yourself in the nearby demonstrations and workshops.
An AUSLAN interpreted tour of the Creative Play Space and Tent will be provided between 2.30 - 3.30pm.
7.30pm to 8.30pm, IPAC
MerrigongX presents uNCOILED eXposed by AUSTI Dance and Physical Theatre.
According to the group's founder, Michelle Forte, this dance performance challenges stereotypical norms and expectations of gender and beauty, explores the emotional turbulence of cultural reconnection and identity and questions the psychological conditions of power.
It's free to attend, but reservations are essential through Merrigong Theatre's website. There are also two other shows on Thursday October 19 and Friday October 20.
- With words from Wollongong City Council
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