Taste your way around the world at Pako Festa’s reimagined foodie festival

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Taste your way around the world at Pako Festa’s reimagined foodie festival

The Nepalise Community will be one of the groups serving delicious meals. Photo by Matt Houston.

Get a taste of Geelong’s rich culinary diversity this February.

Every year in one place, on one day, Pakington street comes alive with an abundance of colour, unique costumes, live music, street performers, multicultural food, and traditional dancing in celebration of Geelong’s diverse mix of cultures with people from all walks of life.

That’s right, we’re talking about Pako Festa – the largest free celebration of cultural diversity in Australia, deeply reflects Geelong’s uniting community spirit.

Following the year that was, the beloved festival will be looking a little different this year, with Diversitat, a not-for-profit association, revealing a brand-new format due to new COVID-19 regulations and social distancing requirements.

The key takeaways

  • Pako Festa returns in 2021 as a reimagined event
  • This year’s event will feature food from 19 different ethnic communities across 13 foodie hubs in Geelong
  • The event takes place on Saturday, February 27

Keep up with the latest festival news via our website.

While this means we won’t be seeing the sparkling street parade, all the key elements that we love about Pako Festa’s celebration of diversity remain, including an offering of global food from 19 of Geelong’s diverse ethnic communities.

Held on February 27, ‘festival-goers’ will be able to experience the international cuisine and diverse music of this multicultural community with 13 food hubs set up across Geelong, spanning Hamlyn Heights, Corio, Norlane, Breakwater, Geelong West, North Geelong, Batesford and Bell Post Hill.

Within these ‘hubs’, local community groups will represent the culture and cuisine of their homelands with lovingly prepared home-cooked food. From Nepalese style BBQ chicken, Thai crispy pork toast, spicy Croatian sausages, and Polish pierogi, to traditional Filipino beef Kaldereta (stew), Dutch Rookworst, Greek-style lamb souvlaki, Bangladeshi chicken biriyani, Ukrainian dumplings, and Japanese Teriyaki Salmon Don.

There will even be French macaroons, Bosnian cheese pie, Macedonian baklava, Serbian pastries, and Wattle Seed Orange slice from Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-Op.

Essentially how it works is keen foodies are required to pre-book online, placing their order (you can purchase multiple items too) and choosing their preferred location and time across the day from 10:30am to 4pm. Guests will be able to place takeaway food orders at as many sites as they wish, but due to COVID restrictions will be only able to dine-in at one location.

So how we see it, is that if you map it out correctly and time your stops, you can potentially do your own ‘foodie tour’ of Geelong, hitting up multiple hubs and experiencing the tastes of all the glorious cuisines.

And the best part of all is that you don’t even have to feel guilty about stuffing your face. Pako Festa is an annual fundraiser for our local diverse communities and your food purchases support the ongoing sustainability of these communities.

Be sure to save the date Saturday, February 27 and taste your way around Geelong while enriching connections of community and culture.

You can book your time slots and order your food here.

Visit Pako Festa for more information.

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