Its cancellation was a big disappointment to many parents and children, but the Multicultural Children’s Festival 2017 with its new date promises to be even better given the extra time allowed before its staging, said the festival’s founder Thuat Van Nguyen.

The festival was cancelled last March 19 due to bad weather. Organisers are now preparing for the event’s re-scheduled date, Saturday May 13, at the same venue, First Fleet Park, The Rocks in Sydney.

Multicultural Children's Festival on May 13 [Image: CRC]
Multicultural Children's Festival on May 13 [Image: CRC]

NSW Minister for Multiculturalism Ray Williams MP will officially open the festival.

“We were naturally disappointed for the scores of children who had been preparing for the festival for many weeks,” said Mr Van Nguyen.

“However, the extra time available should allow us to make the event even better.

“This festival is something important for today’s world which is so divided by cultural and religious difference.

“On Saturday 13th of May, children from over 30 groups will take to the stage to sing and dance. Hundreds more will parade in national costume, accompanied by marching and drum bands, and lion dancers.

“Children coming together in this way once a year, deliver an important lesson in harmony and acceptance”.

Mr Van Nguyen staged the first Multicultural Children’s Festival in Bankstown in 1999.

“Over the years we have continued to grow and this year we are including indigenous children who will dance and participate in creative activities.

“We have also invited children from recently-arrived Syrian refugee families to introduce them to the amazing diversity of our society.

“There has probably never been a time when acceptance of difference was more important.

“Children demonstrate welcome and acceptance much more easily than adults and our festival is designed to bring all these children together to mingle, share and to teach each other.

“Parents and children will know that they can talk to anyone, ask questions, and share their knowledge and skills.

“I invite everyone, whatever your background, to join this fun-filled day that celebrates who and what we are as a wonderfully successful and unique multicultural society”.

The festival will run from 11am to 4pm with non-stop entertainment performed by children. This includes fun for “under 5’s”- jumping castle, kite making & flying, bamboo pole dance, animal farm, lion dance workshop, and colouring-in.

The event is part of The City of Sydney’s Living in Harmony Festival 2017 and sponsored by Multicultural NSW and other project partners.

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