New format for Pako Festa

January 14, 2022 BY

Cultural colour: Usually held on Pakington Street, the Pako Festa will move to a Norlane location this year. Photo: PETER MARSHALL

PAKO Festa will have a new format this year, with the multicultural festival moving away from Pakington Street in Geelong West to the Northern Community Hub in Norlane.

Set for Saturday, 26 February, the event will mark the 40th anniversary of the Festa and includes the usual food stalls, a celebration of cultures, entertainment and a new twist on the traditional parade.

Diversitat chief executive officer Joy Leggo said having one big celebration with everyone together in one location for one big party was the perfect way to celebrate the 40 years of the Pako Festa.

“We are thrilled to mix things up this year and offer a new twist on what has always proven to be a very successful public event for Geelong,” she said.

“We will feature a large stage with a ‘traditional costume catwalk’ to allow our communities to proudly show off their colourful cultures to the wider communities of Geelong.

“We are thrilled about hosting this event at its new location as it opens up a myriad of possibilities.”

The Northern Community Hub is a significant location for Geelong’s diverse communities, with the Federal Government establishing the British Migrant Hostel on the site in the mid-1940s.

The site accommodated migrants from many different nationalities and was soon renamed as the Norlane Hostel, with the site acting as a temporary home to thousands of migrants in the 1950s and 1960s.

“In many ways, we see this as Pako Festa returning home, back to a significant site for Geelong’s diverse communities and a location that allows us many possibilities,” Ms Leggo said.

“Our plans are still being finalised, and we are working very closely with the State Government and ensuring our event format is flexible to adapt to COVID restrictions as they change.

“People won’t need to book online to attend the event, and as always, Pako Festa is a free community event.”

All attendees will be required to be vaccinated in compliance with government requirements.

For more information, head to pakofesta.com.au.