‘Let the celebrations begin’: Parramasala 2014 (Oct 17-19)

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Parramasala festival is again ready to thrill the west Sydney-siders this year with its exciting and entertaining parade and three day long celebrations.

Spend this weekend wandering the exotic bazzar of the Masala markets, ride a camel or chill out at Chai Temple, fill your plate with spicy flavours from street hawkers and dance the night away at the Harris Park Bollywood block party.

Parramasala 2014 promises to be a spicy mix of parade, parties, exotic bazaar, food stalls, music, dance, poetry, film, art, street performers and more. The festival has its focus on the influence of the arts and cultures from South Asia and reflects the diversification in the Australian society.

As Parramatta is home to a culturally diverse population, events like Parramasala, help to embrace the state’s diversity and helps in learning more and more about diverse cultures and traditions.

Parramasala festival presents a lot of cultural and entertainment programs in the streets and in the city’s performing arts centre (Riverside Theatres) and in other local venues. Festivals like Parramasala reinforce Australia’s friendship with India and South Asia and celebrate the contributions made by NSW’s Indian and South Asian communities.

The festival is scheduled for the month of October from October 17-19 and these three days will be full of entertainment and amusement with so many cultural activities, food stalls, music, fun, entertainment and masti.

Festival Director, Di Henry is very optimistic and enthusiastic about this festival and says that they are trying to make the festival more entertaining and engaging.

Di Henry is an internationally awarded Producer and Director of events, exhibitions, operations, media campaigns and marketing. She is the President of the Maxxam International and Planet Event Services and has acquired over 25 years of experience in creating and delivering diverse range of events and is recognised internationally as an innovative, dynamic and result driven professional.

Festival Director, Di Henry while speaking about the Parramasala said, “This is the fifth year of the celebration and with every year it is getting bigger and better. This year the festival has been extended to Harris Park as well which definitely will fetch more participation from the public”.

“Our main focus is to extend the celebration as much as we can. We have made few changes to the format of the festival and we are sure that it will definitely increase the participation this year,” she added.

“It is effectively a professional and internationally-focused arts festival that looks very broadly at who the audience can be. So, we are trying to make it very much a mainstream festival. We are marketing it broadly. We think there is a sufficient interest, possibly some hidden interest in the very broad community in the content that we’re focusing on,” added Henry.

Speaking on the economic side she said, “This year it is a totally free event as there is no entry fee. We are trying to encourage the local businesses to get involved.  Events like this are always a challenge, as  the event is  being organised in the middle of the city , where there are already many small businesses operating ,  so to make events like Parramasala successful  we  have to attract more crowd.  Such events don’t run for weeks, but there is certain intensity that it would attract a huge crowd. The positive side is, whosoever will come will surely stay for longer periods to enjoy with their family and friends, as there will be food options, entertainment, rides and other stalls”.

“About the performers taking part in Parramasala 2014, 44% are from Asian subcontinent backgrounds and 36% of these from India, while the other 56% are from a wide and diverse range of backgrounds. There are more than 20 nationalities and cultures represented at Parramasala 2014”, she added

“The festival will begin on Friday evening, October 17, with a Street Parade along Church Street, Parramatta, culminating at Prince Alfred Park where a Welcome Ceremony and Concert will take place.  Parramatta’s Prince Alfred Park is set to be the heart of Parramasala 2014, with free entertainment on the stage Saturday and Sunday, as well as the Masala Markets which will offer a wide range of stalls and experiences, plus camel rides and a Chai Temple,” said Henry.

“The opening ceremony and concert will kick start at Prince Alfred Park, Parramatta with a spectacular Parade along Chruch Street from Centenary Square to Prince Alfred Park. It will be a celebration of cultures for the whole family as the Parade will bring together many different communities , traditions and cultures in a colourful procession featuring drummers , dancers , dragons, marching bands and fire trucks,” she added.

“There is so much of entertainment.  The opening night celebrations include the performance of NSW Police Band which will be joined by the African Drummers and Bollywood dancers. Then there will be Ingenuous Welcome to country, Traditional South Indian Temple instruments , Indigenous songstress Gambirra with her brothers in song , Blak Douglas and Ben Grono ,  performance by Victor Valdes and the Real Mexico Mariachi Band , performance by L-Fresh the Lion and his Punjabi Hip-Hop Band.”, added Henry  .

“At the end of all these performances there will be fireworks display at 8 PM. The sky above Prince Alfred Park will come alive with booming bursts of colour to herald the start of Parramasala 2014.

“ Then there will ‘The Harris Park Bollywood Block Party on Saturday evening which  will transform the intersection of Wigram Street and Marion Street into a pedestrian-only celebration zone where people can enjoy street-hawker style food, dancers, musicians and DJs playing a mix of world and contemporary music . This is a wonderful addition to the Parramasala program and an ideal way to showcase Harris Park’s increasingly popular culinary offerings,” said Henry.

“There is something exceptional every day. There is something or the other for every age group, so it is a complete family package full of entertainment and fun. We have tried to make it a mix pack of different cultural and entertainment programs. We assure you complete entertainment. So immerse yourself in a celebration of much rich and diverse culture’s in Sydney’s own backyard”, said Di Henry.

 

Di Henry

Di Henry

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