Parramasala is Sydney’s most eclectic, colourful and enriching celebration of culture and it’s coming to Parramatta this weekend. Whether it’s food, dance, music or spectacle you’re after, there’s no shortage of unforgettable experiences at Parramasala.
1. The Welcome Parade
This three-day long festival highlighting the best of South American, Middle Eastern, Indigenous Australia and South East Asian cultures (to name a few!) sees over 35,000 punters come together in celebration of harmony, community and growth. What better way to get the party started than to get along to the Welcome Parade – think over 600 participants from diverse communities across Sydney including floats and dancers, Lebanese drummers, a Uruguayan candombe, a Bollywood Dance Group, and a dragon and lion dance! The parade will run from Parramatta Town Hall (Centenary Square) to the festival’s home in Prince Alfred Square, where the weekend of festivities will officially begin.
2. The Beats
Cutting-edge live music is a highlight of the festival. The First Nations concert on Friday night featuring Kaiit, Emma Donovan and the Putbacks, Alice Skye and Calina Lawrence is going to be a standout. On Sunday the festival celebrates the female voice with performances by Pacific Women’s Voice, Laura Stephenson, Thando, Calypso and Sunday the “effortlessly charismatic” Sampa the Great, whose mixtape took out the prestigious Australian Music Prize and the FBi SMAC Award for Best Live Act.
3. The Food
While there’ll be a plethora of mind-blowing cuisines to choose from at the brand spanking new food precinct, the Long Table Brunch – I Will Eat With You event on Sunday is not to be missed. In bringing together food, stories and community this all-inclusive shebang epitomises what is so special about Parramasala – the simple beauty of all people coming together. Come along and enjoy sensory delights from the Masala World Markets stall holders, as well as entertainment from the World Dance Congress. With the Singapore Airlines Food Passport you can taste your way around Parramasala, sampling Nepalese dumplings, Japanese teriyaki bao’s, crispy Turkish boreks, sizzling Greek souvlaki and more. Everyone is welcome at the table.
4. Masala Markets
Masala Markets makes its debut this weekend, curated just for Parramasala by the same team behind the hugely popular 'Westies Markets Emu Plains'. Featuring a diverse range of stalls including local produce, handmade one-off fashion items, eclectic homewares and gourmet treats.
5. The Workshops
Where oh where in the world can you find a Pacific Drumming workshop, a Bollywood Dance workshop, and a West African Drumming and Dance Workshop all at the one convenient location? Parramasala, that’s where! Get your groove on – body, mind and soul. It’s what this sensational Festival is all about.
6. Sustainable Art
If sustainable art is your thing, check out the Pacific Island Weave Art Workshop and the Bower Recycled Art Workshop for a hands-on experience of the festival. Fashion more your flavour? Get along to an African Headwrap styling session or a dry colour Rangoli workshop. Didi’s Tribe, a collection of artist’s originally from India who now work as part of the Multicultural Women’s Hub program, will also be running workshops, and there’ll be boomerang painting session just for the kids.
7. It's free!
Need we say more? Head to Parramasala this weekend and join in Parramatta's cultural playground. Friday, 15th March - Sunday, 17th March at Prince Alfred Square Parramatta. Download the festival program.