Pasifika Festival

Auckland, New Zealand is the largest city in the country, and it also the where you will find the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world. Should you want to enjoy a fun festival in Auckland that revolves around Polynesian culture, you won't want to miss the Pasifika Festival. So popular a festival in New Zealand this is, that it spawned a month-long celebration of events in Auckland known as the Celebrate Pasifika program. March is the month for these Auckland affairs, with the main Pasifika Festival lasting 2 days. If you can make it to Auckland for the main, 2-day Pasifika Festival, you will be treated to one of the South Pacific's most renowned community events. The Pacific Islands communities in Auckland pull out all the stops during this festival, proudly displaying their pride and accomplishments to the rest of the world.

Surely visiting the Pacific Islands is a great way to experience Polynesian culture, but should you experience the Auckland Pacific Islander Festival, you'll get a true flavor of all things Polynesian without leaving New Zealand. It's like killing two birds with one stone. The bulk of the festivities for the Pasifika Festival in New Zealand take place at the Western Springs Stadium in Auckland, and it is here where the Friday evening concerts start things off. Among the musical acts that perform are some of the top-name Polynesian talents. This free annual concert series lasts roughly from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Come Saturday, the Pacific Islander Festival really kicks into gear. Over 200,000 visitors head to the stadium to enjoy things like live entertainment, crafts shows, and Polynesian cuisine. The Saturday festivities tend to begin around 10 a.m., lasting until 5 p.m.

There is a Families Area at the yearly Pasifika festival in New Zealand where you might be lucky enough to catch a cultural performance by one of the featured island nation groups. Typically, some 10 different Pacific islands are represented in the Pacific Islanders Festival in Auckland, and they are, in no specific order, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Niue, and Tangata Whenua. Every year, the Pasifika Festival gets better and better, as more and more sponsors jump on board. In recent years, new interactive exhibits have been added to the Families Area, and the overall arts, crafts, and food booths have increased in number. What helps to make this such a favorite festival in New Zealand is the fact that admission is free. If you can't get to Auckland for the two days that the main festival is going on, you can still enjoy other Celebrate Pasifika events. As mentioned, these events take place throughout the month of March, and they include film viewings, sporting events, sculpture exhibitions, workshops, kid's activities and more. You might want to book your room at one of the Auckland hotels in advance if you plan to experience the Pasifika Festival, as the city certainly sees an influx of visitors.

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