HomeCouncilCommunity gathers to celebrate Belong Fest

Community gathers to celebrate Belong Fest

Locals and visitors alike gathered to celebrate the region's multicultural community with an afternoon of colour and music at Belong Fest. Photo: Jolene Watson

About 400 locals and visitors to the region gathered to mark the end of Harmony Week on Sunday with an afternoon of colour and music at Belong Fest.

Hosted by Bundaberg Regional Council in partnership with the Bundaberg and District Neighbourhood Centre, the free family-friendly event aimed to celebrate the region’s multicultural community.

Local food vendors provided a range of cuisines while stall holders offered art, craft and demonstrations representing a diverse range of cultures including Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Papua New Guinea Islanders, South Sea Islanders, African and Indonesian.

The Bundaberg and District Neighbourhood Centre’s Multicultural Program Coordinator Praveen Matthew said the event had exceeded their expectations.

“The theme for Harmony Week was ‘Everyone Belongs’ and we have seen that realised today,” Praveen said.

“From the dance, music, food and different cultures, Belong Fest literally bought colour into people’s lives.

“It was a visual treat to see hundreds of people from all different backgrounds covered in different colours and dancing in harmony.”

The event kicked off with a performance from a local taiko drumming group followed by a response from a Chenda Melam drumming team with traditional Kerala beats.

Brisbane performer Riya Ruben led pop-up Bollywood style dance demonstrations with the crowd, followed by a live music set from the Gold Coast’s DJ Ashu.

Over 60 participants took part in the 4 km colour fun run along the Bargara foreshore and nature reserve, which comprised of seven colour stations of different colour powders.

The day culminated in a joint festive experience of traditional colour throwing from the energetic crowd.

Belong Fest was supported by funding through the Queensland Government 2023-24 Celebrating Multicultural Queensland Program.



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