Thousands of residents converged on Victoria Park Lake Saturday night to experience an explosion of culture, food and music.By Kaitlin Thals
Thousands of residents converged on Victoria Park Lake Saturday night to experience an explosion of culture, food and music.
The annual Emerge at Twilight Festival celebrated the many sounds, colours and flavours of multicultural Greater Shepparton.
People enjoyed Albanian, Turkish, Filipino and West African cuisine while talented acts performed on stage.
Afghan pop singer Taqi Khan was carried across the crowd as he belted out popular hits.
By the end of the evening most festival-goers had gathered at the main stage dancing Bollywood style and clapping in time to the didgeridoo.
The night closed with a colourful fireworks display.
Emerge at Twilight Festival is part of the broader Emerge on the Goulburn Festival which began on February 23 and ends on Wednesday, March 13.
Riverlinks manager Steve Donelly said the festival celebrated the arts and culture of Greater Shepparton’s Indigenous, emerging refugee and multicultural community.
‘‘The quality of the performers (on Saturday night) was exceptionally high, it was a real open, friendly and family atmosphere,’’ Mr Donelly said.
‘‘The response to the youth stage area was really good, there was a great bunch of active teens hanging around that area – and they had a ball.’’
Mr Donelly said the broad mix of food on offer was well received, with some stalls selling out of food.
‘‘Everyone was mixing together and dancing all over the place,’’ he said.
‘‘All cultures were represented, there was a high percentage of refugee cultures in the audience and our traditional twilight audience who turned out in force, it was a great mix.
‘‘The Afghani community came to see pop singer Taqi Khan, even the fruit pickers in town were having a ball.’’
Other activities included henna tattooing, hair braiding, creative arts and lantern making workshops.
Mr Donelly said the Emerge at Twilight evolved from the annual Shepparton Twilight Festival, which were once two separate events.
He said both festivals merged after the need was identified for a major multicultural event for Greater Shepparton.
‘‘It will definitely be back again at the lake next year, after this year’s feedback there will be some off-shoot events included,’’ Mr Donelly said.
To see the full list of activities happening this week for the Emerge on the Goulburn Festival, visit www.multiculturalarts.com.au/events2013/goulburn.shtml
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