National Multicultural Festival: quick and dirty guide

7 Feb

When the National Multicultural Festival is over for each year, it always feels like aaages until it’s back again. But then the next year rolls around, and January goes so fast, and then it’s on us again! Hooray!

Today heralded the opening of the Festival so we’re already down to two days to go. Here are my quick suggestions for making the most of it over Saturday and Sunday.

  • Take the bus! There are extra services running to and from the Festival and major Town Centres tomorrow, and every bus is free. Yep! The good folk at ACTION are having a fare free day (whether you are going to the Festival or not!). Add that to not having to worry about driving or whether you might be over the limit, and the bus is the smart choice tomorrow.
  • Lather on the sunscreen! Saturday and Sunday are 38 and 39 degrees respectively. Yeah, there’s the cool of the Canberra Centre, and the buildings throughout Civic provide some shade, but this remains an outdoor event and that means exposure to sun!
  • Scope out the entire Festival before eating or drinking anything. This is a really hard recommendation because it’s hard not to be tempted, and if you head in at the wrong time, it’s hard to get through the crowds so it’s easy to give in. BUT, too often I’ve not done the proper scoping and have gorged myself on something just for the sake of it, and around the corner is what I’ve been waiting all my life for! By all means, get a beer or something to nibble on while you wander around, but it’s all about knowing what’s available. Short term pain for long term gain if this rule is followed!
  • Short lines don’t always mean short wait times. I wish the two did equal one another, but it’s not the case. If I’m tossing up between a few, I’ll always head for the shorter line, but the key is really seeing how many people are still waiting for their food. The stalls might be speedy at the cashier end, and slow at the food serving end.
  • Take friends with similar philosophies. The day seems to work best when a) you all are easy going and have a try of whatever b) one person is picky and the rest follow along or c) everyone has their different tastes but knows what they’re after and there’s a clear ‘meeting point’ once different food/drink is obtained. If one of these isn’t fulfilled, the day gets a little harder to manage.
  • Keep the bags to a minimum. Huuuge off the shoulder bags are a hazard (particularly for people holding beer in a cup). Any bag that has to be carried in your hand is a mistake, because it instantly limits ability to hold one or more of food and drink.
  • Never underestimate how hard it is to eat food and hold a drink when you only have two hands. Unless you’re partial to the ‘on a Stick’ variety like I am, you’re bound to find yourself holding a plate that has a fork attached, while also holding a beverage. (I speak from experience, year after year.) Unless you’ve grabbed a rare table to sit at, other strategies need to come into play. One is to alternate between eating and drinking (not ideal). The other is to have one of your similarly-minded friends (see above) hold your drink while you eat the food, and then do a swap. Winning!
  • Finally, don’t forget about the Canberra Fringe Festival. Bad!Slam!No!Biscuit!, Territory and Theatre in a car #4 have all caught my eye.

See you there tomorrow?


4 Responses to “National Multicultural Festival: quick and dirty guide”

  1. Gary Lum February 7, 2014 at 11:57 pm #

    Your wisdom of bags and things in your hands is beyond your years 😃

  2. Rob Harvey (@goldenharvester) February 8, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

    I would recommend a small camelbak as a backpack instead. Then you can carry water and a few essentials. The beauty is that they are compact and not an obstruction to the beer drinking public.


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