ENJOY: The Multicultural Festival promises  fine food and performances.
ENJOY: The Multicultural Festival promises fine food and performances. Contributed

Melting pot of cultural styles

PREPARE for sensory overload as the Central Highlands hosts one of its biggest events of the year.

The 2016 Central Highlands Multicultural Festival will feature cuisine, refreshments, performances, costumes and activities from around the globe.

The event is on from 5.00pm to 10.00pm, Saturday 27 August at the Emerald Showgrounds.

"The tastes, sights and sounds from around the world are being brought together to make the festival a feast for the senses," co-ordinator Kymberlee Senior says.

"Over 20 international food stalls will serve up a variety of tantalising dishes and you'll experience an eclectic mix of world music and dance from local, national and international performers.

"Completing the global village atmosphere will be the national costumes and props, both on stage and in the crowd, that will transform the showgrounds into a vibrant, colourful melting pot of cultures."

Among the performers will be multi award-winning Bobby Alu, one of Australia's best drummers and a skilled baritone ukulele strummer, whose music is themed by Polynesia with hints of soul, reggae and infectious rhythm.

A rising star of Electronic Dance Music, 18-year-old producer Tympanic will also be on stage, as well as hosting a free workshop and performance in Capella the night before the festival.

The festival will also play host to the Culture Train, a travelling showcase of traditional and contemporary multicultural artists, compiled by the State Government to celebrate Queensland Multicultural Month.

It includes internationally-acclaimed Tibetan musician Tenzin Choegyal; Bolivian instrumentalist and storyteller Mario Celestino Conde; and Tichawona Noble Mashawa, described as one of the most imaginative and captivating emerging musicians from Africa.

"They're bound to be crowd hits and really enhance the festive vibe," Ms Senior says.

Another major drawcard is the festival's food.

"Regular guests tell us they try to come along with empty bellies because there are so many delicious dishes and drinks to sample!" Ms Senior says.

"Hawaiian inspired mocktails, New Zealand Hangi and Peruvian delights are just a few examples."

Festival goers will also be spoilt for choice for activities, which include henna art, laser tag and bubble soccer.

Now in its 12th year, the festival is the largest one-day festival in the Central Highlands and last year attracted more than 7,000 people.

The event brings together communities throughout the region to celebrate its cultural diversity, and promote community awareness of multiculturalism and the benefits of living in a multicultural society.

The festival is hosted by the Central Highlands Regional Council (CHRC) and the Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC), with the support of major sponsor BMA.

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