Veronica Mosqueira serves little Laura and Allison Stewart the traditional Paraguay dish Chipa Gausa at the 2017 Lockyer Multicultural Festival.
Veronica Mosqueira serves little Laura and Allison Stewart the traditional Paraguay dish Chipa Gausa at the 2017 Lockyer Multicultural Festival. Francis Witsenhuysen

Funding boost for popular festival

THE Lockyer Valley Multicultural Festival has been given a $13,000 boost, ensuring this year's event will be bigger and better than ever.

Organiser Idell Wadley said members of Spirit of the Valley Events Inc were "overwhelmed” to receive the support from Multicultural Affairs Queensland.

Last year MAQ awarded $6000 towards the event.

"It was such a huge success”, Mrs Wadley said, with over 2000 people attending, that this year MAQ more than doubled its contribution.

The festival showcases the diverse cultures of the region, from European to Asian, African and indigenous Australian.

"It's a showcase of all the vibrant cultures in the Lockyer,” she said. "We have people here from Jordan, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Pakistan, there's a strong Aboriginal community too which is celebrated on the day.”

Participants often commented on how everyone feels welcome at the event.

"It's the one time of the year that all of the residents of the Lockyer Valley feel they can come together and celebrate their different backgrounds,” she said.

Five hours of entertainment will be on offer, and workshops including African drumming, hula hooping, Aboriginal dance, and calligraphy.

The extra funds will allow more promotion, a greater number of workshops, and will enable the organisation to become less dependent on Lockyer Valley Regional Council's help, Mrs Wadley said.

She plans to expand the number of stalls to 50, up from 30 last year.

The Lockyer Valley Multicultural Festival is free and will be held on Sunday May 26 from 10am-3pm at the Gatton Shire Hall.

To get involved, perform on the day, or hold a stall contact Ms Wadley on 0448326246.


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