Carnivale Armidale

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Carnivale Armidale will take place on Saturday 12th May from 3pm to 8pm at the Armidale Town Hall. 

What is Carnivale Armidale?

Carnivale Armidale is a celebration of cultural diversity in our community and an opportunity for all groups to share their song, dance and food with the wider community.

It creates an opportunity for the whole community to gather together to enjoy the richness of the many cultural groups that Armidale is blessed with. Entry is free, and you can just watch or learn new dances and sample affordable exciting and diverse food.

What is the origin of the event?

The concept for a dancing event was initiated by migrant and refugee students and their English language teacher at TAFE in 2008. The students wanted to share their culture and the opportunity to celebrate their time in Armidale. After a long break, the event was reborn in 2017 as “Carnivale Armidale” on a greater scale, to include more groups and cultural food. This event was a great success, with over 500 people attending. 

This year Carnivale will include even more entertainment and diverse food and games, and the planning committee has reached out to more cultural groups.

What is planned for this year?

Earlier this year we were approached by members of the Sustainable Living Committee to be part of Carnivale, and with their help we are including sustainable practices in our event. Armidale Regional Council is also erecting a display to educate people on basic principles in recycling. Their small tank will be available for people to fill their water bottles, instead of buying bottled drinks. Good sustainable living is essential for our area to grow in the best direction for our diverse community.

 Armidale has over 80 different cultural backgrounds, and we don’t often have the opportunity to connect with these groups. However, Carnivale provides a forum for the community to experience some of our diverse cultures. 

Hence, we will share music, dances, games and food from different cultures, including Indigenous, Bhutanese, Indian, Middle Eastern, South American, Filipino, Indonesian and Vietnamese. A tea house is often an important component of some cultures, and members of the community will coordinate one. Australian bush dancing is also included, and Aboriginal dancing by Duval High School will feature in the event. 

Participation is a key feature for the success of previous events, and this year we have selected groups who will be teaching some of their dancing steps to everyone at the event. However, joining in is, of course, not compulsory and you are very welcome to watch only; but we are certain you will soon be in the dancing spirit too, prompted by the people and music. 

For our young people there will be special games organised, and Linda Frame will be there to paint faces with special themes. The committee has hired a photo booth for people to take free photos in colourful costumes. 

Thanks to sponsorship from Reader’s Companion, we are organising a colouring in competition for children up to 12 years. 

Entries are available from Reader’s Companion in the Mall, Armidale Library or from schools. 

Entries close on Friday 4th May 2018. Prizes will be awarded at  Carnivale Armidale on 12th May. We will endeavour to display the entries at the event for all to admire.

Carnivale Armidale will be a colourful event, and we encourage all attendees to come with their cultural costumes if possible, or dress in colourful clothes to help us create a carnival atmosphere. Sometime during the event we hope to have a parade to highlight different cultural dressing.

Armidale Regional Council has organised Rusden Street to be closed from Faulkner Street to the entry of O’Connor Lane, so that we can have more space for our celebration. The event will start at 3pm for all, especially our children, to enjoy the day. All foods offered are affordable, and the committee encourage people to come and sample a different dinner than their usual food.

Carnivale Armidale is supported by Northern Settlement Services (NSS), Sanctuary Services Incorporated (SSI), Armidale Regional Council (ARC), Multicultural NSW, NSW Justice, Readers’ Companion and Karbullah Poll Merino Stud.

Karbullah Poll Merino Stud have decided to become a sponsor for Armidale Carnivale this year. In a decision to embrace Australia’s multiculturalism, their ethos is making a difference, whether this be in supporting multicultural events or through their merinos. 

This family business channels their passion into breeding and running stock more sustainably, more efficiently and more humanely. Their sheep are dual purpose, performing well in both meat and wool. Their philosophy is minimal chemical and invasive intervention. This is seen in their lack of need to drench their ewes since 1992, the stock’s natural immunity to worms, the high levels of lamb survivability and mulesing eliminated since 2004. With plain bodied sheep free of wrinkles, the stock does not suffer from fly strike. 

This also means during the shearing process there are much less cuts. The stock grazes on natural pastures, including natives like Old Man Saltbush. Their breeding program also emphasises survivability in adverse conditions and a better metabolism for faster wool growth and nutritional efficiency. They are excited to partner with an event that celebrates all Australian backgrounds and the beauty of multiculturalism that can be found in rural areas like Armidale. 

Final message?

Entry is free, and so are face painting and photos from a special photo booth. Come for a free photo to add to your album. Tell your friends and come and bring the family to the event of the year – Carnivale Armidale on 12th May at the Town Hall, starting at 3pm. Parents, please encourage your children to enter the colouring in competition.

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