Wow what a party! The annual Pako Festa held along West Geelong's cosmopolitan leafy Pakington Street every February attracts around 100,000 people and it's no wonder why; the Pako Festa is so much fun and one of the best events on the Geelong calendar.
The festival is a huge celebration of everything multicultural from the official welcoming with the traditional owners of much of our region the Wathaurong People to the 60 or more community and ethnic groups from all around the world.
The morning sees a huge street parade where hundreds of people don their national dress, pull out their instruments and parade down Pakington Street much to the delight of the tens of thousands lining the street to watch. It's hard to imagine any other place on earth where so many groups can come together as one and celebrate.
The much loved West Geelong Fire Brigade finishes the parade which signals the transformation of Pakington Street into a huge food and culture carnival. Some of the tastiest food is on offer, including pastas, curries, stir fry's, spices and more, even tasty the Aussie sausage gets a look in. Many of our cultural groups sell traditional items and have plenty of information on their countries and group.
National dance groups, perform on stages throughout the precinct you might see the Dutch Clog Dances, Pilipino dance troop, Greek dancing or even some magnificent Thai dancing all in traditional costumes. There's always plenty of roaming entertainment and music. You might come across a Mexican band then a few meters up the road African Drummers then a little further a Croatian band or a good old fashioned Aussie bush band.
The festival stretches over a kilometre and takes in not only Pakington Street but some of the side car parks, public squares and parklands it even stretches into many businesses and of course the great Pakington Street Pubs of the Petrel Hotel and Barking Dog.