INDEPENDENT NEWS

Festival attracts thousands despite Election Day

Published: Tue 20 Sep 2005 01:29 PM
Media Release
20 September 2005
Festival attracts thousands despite Election Day
Thousands of people came out to celebrate – and to vote - at the New Lynn Community Centre last weekend, for the third annual Waitakere Moon Festival.
The event was opened by the Prime Minister on election eve and quickly became an explosion of colour, music, dance, drumming, food, art, fun and games, that lasted into Friday night and all day Saturday.
The opening was also attended by a range of MPs, councillors, community board members and the consul generals of the People’s Republic of China, Japan and Korea. It began with a traditional Maori welcome and concluded with the Prime Minister and the Consul General of China, Mr Ma Chong Ren “dotting the eyes of the Lion” and Councillor Judy Lawley, “crowning the Lion.”
Saturday’s crowds took advantage of having a multi-ethnic polling booth operating at one end of the community centre – allowing them to celebrate and vote all in the one place.
The Moon Festival is a mid-autumn harvest festival celebrated throughout Asia. Waitakere’s event has been a success since the inaugural festival in 2003.
A full house on both days saw martial art displays, gorgeous flower angel dances and the exquisite divas of the Cantonese Opera Society. Friday night’s programme finished with the explosive Auckland Mai Taiko drummers. Also on show were traditional Chinese folk music, orchestral music, modern Chinese-pop fusion, hip-hop and even ballroom dancing.
The diverse crowds enjoyed also food and shopping in the marquee at the back of the centre, and bonsai, Chinese art and mah-jong in the second hall.
The third year of the Moon Festival follows in the tradition of previous years, with large crowds from around the Auckland region attending the event.
The Waitakere Moon Festival would like to thank its sponsors Asia New Zealand, The Tofu Shop, China Travel Service, Chinese Express and Asian Voice and was delivered in partnership with the Waitakere City Council.
Sponsorship and performance opportunities for the 2006 Waitakere Moon Festival are available now, contact Jo-Anne Inancsi on 836 8000 extn 8464 to register your interest.
ENDS

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