Hunter Valley Celebrates Culture At Riverlights Festival

19 Oct 16

Lake Hunter Valley Gardens

Saturday 8 October 2016 saw the Riverlights Festival return to the Hunter Valley to celebrate the colour and diversity of culture in the community. Held at The Levee in Central Maitland, the festival used music, dance, arts, food and interactive stalls to shine a light on the Hunter Valley as a connected global space.

Now in its fifth year, the multicultural event saw approximately 9,000 people attend its workshops and demonstrations which culminated in the popular festival parade and incredible lantern flotilla on the Hunter River. An unforgettable family event, the festival featured 23 'cultural villages' which offered a range of experiences and activities including craft, henna, hair braiding, food tasting and performances.

Celebrating cultural diversity, the Riverlights Multicultural Festival turned it on for the Hunter Valley with everything from lantern making workshops to the cultural passport, which encouraged festival-goers to collect stamps at each cultural village, to show where they had been throughout the festival.

One of the more interesting aspects of the festival was the Language Lounge, where attendees would learn to count in a number of different languages from around the world. The lounge featured counting in everything from Sudanese to Polish and even Swahili. The Cultural Demonstrations were a dynamic range of songs, dances and performances which represented a diverse range of countries and cultures from around the world.

Unsurprisingly, the Global Kitchen was one of the busiest attractions where festival attendees flocked to see international flare and flavours come together. There were live cooking demonstrations showcasing cuisines from around the globe, presented by home cooking experts designed to inspire locals to step outside their comfort zones and expand their palates by trying dishes and delicacies from a variety of different cultures.

This year's event was a roaring success and for anyone who missed out, next year's event has already been announced for Saturday 7 October 2017.