Inaugural Cultural Talent Festival on

Heather Harries. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Heather Harries. PHOTO: ODT FILES
The inaugural Cultural Talent Festival will take place in Cromwell later this month.

Central Otago District Council welcoming communities officer Heather Harries said she was looking forward to staging the event, which had been postponed earlier this year.

"It promises to be an eclectic array of song, dance, words and food: Tongan gospel singing, Scottish bagpipes, garba dancing from the villages of Gujarat, poetry and more", she said.

The festival will be held at the Cromwell Presbyterian Church on June 23 from 3pm-5pm.

The event extends the theme of Unity Week, launched in 2022 to honour those who died during the terrorist attack in Christchurch on March 15, 2019.

The aim was also to cultivate a society of inclusion, respect and belonging.

"Welcoming communities and some passionate Central Otago volunteers set upon observing this initiative by crafting an event that would rejoice in the talents of our ever-growing and changing community", Ms Harries said.

The idea was to celebrate the richness that diversity brought to the district and promote a spirit of togetherness.

"However, as the long summer days were ending, the talent festival was competing with a vast array of other festivities, therefore the date was postponed and — as they say in the movies — here goes take 2.

"Although Unity Week is behind us, the value of facilitating connections and collectively nurturing the diversity and flair of Central Otago is something we can strive for every day.

"For those who want to share their heritage but are too shy to take to the stage, please bring a plate of food to share."

Entry is free of charge but there will be a gold coin donation to go to St John.