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South Asian Festival – Parramasala 2014 Launched

NSW Premier Mike Baird and the Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Councillor John Chedid, today announced the program for Parramasala 2014, a festival of the many diverse and rich cultures in Sydney. Now in its fifth year, Parramasala will take place over three days and nights, from Friday 17 October to Sunday 19 October 2014, and the focus for this year's festival will be on free, public events and celebrations. This year, the festival activities will be extended beyond Parramatta to include Harris Park for the first time. NSW Premier Mike Baird said: “Parramatta is home to a culturally diverse population, and events such as Parramasala help us to embrace our state’s diversity and encourage us to learn more about each other’s cultures and traditions.” “Parramasala also reinforces Australia’s friendship with India and South Asia and celebrates the contributions made by NSW’s Indian and South Asian communities; and 44 per cent of the performers taking part in Parramasala are from Asian subcontinent backgrounds and 36 per cent of these are from India,” he said. The festival will begin on Friday evening with a Street Parade along Church Street, Parramatta, culminating at Prince Alfred Park where a Welcome Ceremony and Concert will take place. Parramatta's Prince Alfred Park is set to be the heart of Parramasala 2014, with free entertainment on the stage Saturday and Sunday, as well as the Masala Markets which will offer a wide range of stalls and experiences, plus camel rides and a Chai Temple. The Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Councillor John Chedid, announced details of the new event in this year's program - the Harris Park Bollywood Block Party. "The Harris Park Bollywood Block Party on Saturday evening will transform the intersection of Wigram Street and Marion Street into a pedestrian-only celebration zone where people can enjoy street-hawker style food, dancers, musicians and DJs playing a mix of world and contemporary music," said Councillor Chedid. "This is a wonderful addition to the Parramasala program and an ideal way to showcase Harris Park's increasingly popular culinary offerings." The event was attended by the Leader of Opposition Hon John Robertson, David Bodger who initiated and conceived Parramasala and many community members.

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