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Cultural celebration . . . Jake Moore, front left, and Luisa Soriano, back left, Mia Broughton-Soriano, aged three, Jack Broughton-Soriano aged five, and Sandeep Khanna, middle row, Purnima Khanna, Seema Sharma and Monica Sood, back row, celebrate the anouncement in Rangiora's Victoria Park last Sunday morning that a Festival of Colour will be held in the town on Saturday, March 24 next year with organisers Karl Horwarth and Sarah Broughton, front right. PHOTO: SHELLEY TOPP

By SHELLEY TOPP

Victoria Park will be transformed into a rainbow of colour at a new summer festival planned for Rangiora next March.

The Rangiora Festival of Colour 2018 is a free event being organised to celebrate the multicultural growth in North Canterbury.

It will be held on Saturday, March 24, from 10am to 4pm. The highlight will be the throwing of colours to create a blast of colour in the park.

The festival is being organised by Rangiora Winter Festival trustees Karl Horwarth, co-owner of Rangiora cafes Fools of Desire and Reality Bites, with help from Sarah Broughton, of The Project Group, in partnership with Revel Events, organisers of the Christchurch Festival of Colour for the last three years.

“It is based on a traditional festival that is celebrated worldwide,” Karl says.

“People throw vibrant colours, play traditional games and enjoy performances, music and food with family and friends.”

He says the event will focus on bringing life and colour to Rangiora and celebrating its diversity and energy.

“It is going to be a very family-friendly day with a kids entertainment zone around the playcentre in Victoria Park, and plenty of entertainment also for adults and teenagers.”

The kids’ zone will include bouncy castles, water walkers and bumpa boats. Other entertainment will include colour cannons, live music, DJs, performances by cultural groups, an art competition, games and ethnic food stalls.

The idea comes after the huge success of Rangiora’s Winter Festival.

“People wanted something different for summer with fun and music being the main focus,” Karl says.

A crowd of between 3000 and 3500 is expected.

“Our intention is to provide an exciting community festival that reflects the multicultural nature of our North Canterbury home,” Karl says.

“It will provide opportunities for the many ethnic and cultural groups in the area to make a connection with the wider community through food, music, performance in an exciting and fun way,”

A multi-cultural group dressed in traditional costumes gathered in Victoria Park last Sunday morning to celebrate the forthcoming festival.

Jake Moore, from Rangiora, representing Maori, said the festival would be great for the community.

“It is nice to recognise every culture in North Canterbury.”

Monica Sood, of Christchurch, representing the Indian community, said the festival was about “putting aside our differences” and coming together to celebrate all cultures.

The Rangiora Festival of Colour is being sponsored by the Rangiora PAK’nSAVE supermarket and others, including the North Canterbury News, Visit Waimakariri, Creative Communities, Christchurch International Airport Ltd, Hellers, and Compass FM.

A website to promote the festival, www.rangiorafestivalofcolour.co.nz, will be launched today, along with a Facebook page, Rangiora Festival of Colour.