Shifting the Hokonui Culture Feast to a different venue seems to have worked very well, Eastern Southland Migrant Services co-ordinator Mihaela Erdelyi says.
About 500 people attended Friday’s event, held at the Gore Town and Country Stadium for the first time.
Previously the event had been held in the James Cumming Wing.
Mrs Erdelyi said holding the event in one room was easier.
“We could do everything like workshops, food and entertainment in the same room.
“It went really well. We had a very big crowd,
“It was definitely more successful than last year.”
Feedback on the Facebook page was very positive.
“People had a great night and thanked us for the entertainment.”
There were 10 food stalls at the event.
Stallholder Ruby Zamberi and her children Raihanah Abdul Halim (8), Abdul Muhaimin Abdul Halim (10) and Hafeez Abdul Halim (6) sold Malaysian food – spicy noodles and curry puffs.
Ms Zamberi said it was an excellent way to showcase the different ethnic groups that make up the community.
“It was great, and a massive opportunity for the local community to know that we have mix ethnicity in the area and a good chance to try different food.”
She received a good response to the food she was selling.
“The curry puff was the hit, as it was vegetarian.”
Her children enjoyed the evening.
“The kids loved it.
“They had fun helping me and [were] proud to represent our country as Malaysian, although they are born in New Zealand.”
Thomas Menlove (16) was helping at the children’s activities, run by Camp Columba.
It was the first time he had attended the Culture Feast.
“I thought it was a really great night. There were lots of things that I would never have seen if I hadn’t gone, like the different singing acts and dancing.”
Children who came to the event seemed to enjoy themselves.
“We had them roasting marshmallows over candles and making air rockets to fire out into the car park.”
The children could also take part in a passport activity which involved collecting stamps from the various food stalls.
“If they got all nine stamps they could come back to us and get a prize.”