Pasifika Festival 2008

Tahitian drummersThe annual Pasifika Festival is taking place this Saturday from 10am to 5pm at Western Springs Park. It’s the time of year where we can pretend that Auckland really is subtropical. So grab your coconut bra and come along to enjoy some sunshine.

After the jump, R&B, corned beef and sweet, sweet coconut milk.

As in previous years, the festival is organised around mini villages for 10 Pacific Island groups – Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Tahiti, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and “Tangata Whenua”, which I assume is the village formerly known as Niu Sila, and before that known as Aotearoa. (Why such an identity crisis?)

There’s always a good selection of entertainment from traditional performances to hip hop – and if you’re lucky you might stumble across some open-mic R&B which is always fun in a NZ Idol kind of way.

Corned beef The best part, I reckon, is the food. Favourites of mine in recent years have been the bowl of ice cream with coconut shavings on it, the coconut with a straw in it, and a big ol’ plate of corned beef.

It can be a little crowded, but over the years the organisers have got really good at routing the crowds around Western Springs, so it’s get that good ‘busy market’ feeling, not a ‘arrgh! too many people!’ experience.

I recommend using public transport to get there. There are a number of buses that service the area, and Stagecoach have a special direct bus to and from Newmarket. More details of all buses at Maxx.

Giant flowerAnd if you can’t get enough, the Pasifika Festival is but a part of the larger Celebrate Pasifika programme of events, including sports, arts and workshops – check out the full programme.


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