Parramasala is a fabulous, vibrant free celebration of Sydney’s diverse and rich cultures right here in Parramatta from 9th to 11th March. This flagship festival of Multicultural March brings together performances, food, markets and music from over 40 different cultures in a party like atmosphere.
We definitely think the Parramasala welcome parade is the jewel in the crown of free events in Parramatta. For an hour last year, we were bedazzled as performance after colourful performance paraded passed us on the Lennox Bridge. It was truly fabulous! My kids beamed from ear to ear and clapped along. And we are very much looking forward to the parade this year.
Parramasala Festival Highlights
The Parramasala Festival program is made up of local and international acts representing all corners of the globe. It showcases the international flavour of Sydney through the diversity of the artists, the beauty of dance and incredible musicians.
1Welcome Parade: Friday 9th March 7pm – 8:30pm
Parramasala opens with an explosion of colour, movement and sound with the Welcome Parade – a street party like no other! Starting from Parramatta Town Hall, over 500 performers, from drummers, dancers, marching bands and colourful costumes to fantastic floats and animals, will make their way down Church Street to Prince Alfred Square. The parade will then be met by the Elders of Burramatta for the opening ceremony. The kids and I were absolutely impressed last year and can’t wait to see the parade again.
2Parramasala Workshops: Saturday and Sunday
There will be a series of free family-friendly workshops at Parramasala in Prince Alfred Square. They have been grouped into four areas.
- Pacific Nations: traditional storytelling, song and dance with Aunty Marloo; an NRL Pacific Cup skills clinic; weaving workshops; drum workshops.
- South Asia: music and dance performances; Odissi dance workshop with Nabinita Goshal; dance workshop with Raghav Handa; Chinese dance; acrobatics and arts
- Middle East: belly dancing workshops; Persian dance with Jrisi; drum and dance workshops; a dance mob workshop (12pm Sunday) and following the workshop the dance mob will perform on the Masala Stage.
- Africa: African art workshops; rhythm workshop; a clothing showcase.
3Dreamgirls of Bollywood: 9th March 8:30-11pm
Following the Welome Parade, a theatrical dance spectacular will fill Prince Alfred Square with the colour, dance, energy and excitement of Bollywood. Featuring an all international cast, Dreamgirls of Bollywood tracks the iconic costuming and dance performances through the many years of Bollywood films.
4Live Music and Performances: Saturday and Sunday from 1pm until late
From two stages in Prince Alfred Square, you will be able to enjoy great free live music and performances from around the world. Acts include Grammy award-winning Saharan Desert rock group Tinariwen, Grammy award-nominated future-soul quartet Hiatus Kaiyote, African Vibes and Matavai Cultural Arts.
A street market celebrating all things ‘street’: street food, street rhythms, street music and street dance. Grab a plate and taste your way around the best of Sydney’s street stalls surrounded by colourful musicians and dancers.
6Western Sydney Street Dance Competition: Saturday 3pm-7pm
This year, there will be a dance competition held at the Riverside theatre, featuring some of Australia’s best street dancers competing and showcasing their art. Plus, free workshops open to the general public prior to the competition.
Read about all the other events taking places at Parramasala in the festival guide.
The Parramasala Festival is wheelchair and pram friendly.
Parramasala Festival Planner
Getting to Parramasala
Parramasala is located in Prince Alfred Square, along Church Street between Riverside Theatres and Victoria Road.
It is close to bus stops along Victoria Road and an easy 10-15 min walk from Parramatta Station and Bus Interchange. Parramatta Ferry Terminal is also a short 10min walk along the river to Winterlight. For train, bus and ferry timetable information please contact Transport Info on 131 500 or visit www.transportnsw.info
There are a few car parks to choose from nearby: