Locals learn traditional dance at the Celebrate Pasifika event held in Goodna on Saturday.
Locals learn traditional dance at the Celebrate Pasifika event held in Goodna on Saturday. Rob Williams

Pasifika rhythm returns to festival

UPBEAT island-vibe music, singing, exotic foods and festival fun drew thousands of people to Goodna's Evan Marginson Park on Saturday.

The second annual Pasifika Festival gave Ipswich people a chance to immerse themselves in the vibrant culture and customs of South Pacific Islanders.

Visitors enjoyed ukulele jams, dance performances and classes, singing, arts and craft workshops, and a fire-twirling display.

Pogia Navy and Islander elders offered basket-making workshops, while youngsters got involved in traditional dance lessons and lei-making, and dozens of stallholders sold exotic food and traditional and handmade wares.

The second annual festival was opened by Mayor Paul Pisasale and councillors, who delivered an impromptu island-style dance performance, before more professional artists took the stage.

Councillor Paul Tully said this year's festival was tremendous.

"There was a lot of excitement on the day, it was hot, but there was such a great turnout," Cr Tully said.

"A lot of people from Logan and Brisbane visited, and it was especially significant after the floods and the Slacks Creek tragedy.

"Not that people were dwelling on the tragedies - people are moving on and this day was a great example of that."

Cr Tully said the festival was particularly relevant to Goodna residents considering the make-up of population.

"We've got over 85 ethnic groups living around Goodna, and a very large community of Pacific Islanders and New Zealanders," Cr Tully said.

"We're a very culturally diverse area, and we're proud of it."

Cultural Services Committee chairman Charlie Pisasale said the event was the result of a great relationship with the Pacific Island community.

He said Pacific Islanders made up a large part of the Ipswich community.

"Data from 2006 states that Ipswich residents who were born overseas were from England: 4 per cent, New Zealand: 3.5 per cent, and Samoa, 0.7 per cent," Cr Pisasale said.

Pasifika was originally scheduled to be held mid-year, but was postponed due to the funerals for those who died in the tragic Slacks Creek fire.

 



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