Colac Kana Festival turns 60!

 

The annual Colac Kana Festival is a weekend of fun and festivities for the whole family, held in the third weekend of March around Colac’s Memorial Square.

Originally the ‘Kanyana’ Festival, which means ‘meeting of the people’, was a ten day event that took over the entire city of Colac and encompassed a variety of events including a Kanyana dinner, music recital, rodeo, bowling tournament, photographic exhibition, cabaret ball, cricket match, ower show, speedboat carnival, highland gathering, car rally and street procession with street dancing. Over the years there have been many additions to the Kana traditions, plus the inevitable change due to new occupational health and safety regulations.

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The event has always been overseen by a group of likeminded community volunteers, with highlights such as the Fair in the Square and the street parade remaining a constant throughout the festivals history.

As time passed the length of the festival changed to a 3 day weekend event, with an o cial opening and art show on the Friday night launching the theme of the festival, followed by the street parade and Fair in the Square on the Saturday, and then each year a di erent event would be held on the Sunday. Over the past decade there has been an increase in the amount of family entertainment in the Fair in the Square, including interactive science displays, traditional indigenous art and dance, billy cart races, rock climbing and abseiling towers and lots of local musicians and performers on the main stage.

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Local schools, community groups, businesses and sporting clubs enjoy taking part in the annual Street Parade down Murray Street, decorating oats to match that years theme. There have been many di erent themes over the past 60 years that have celebrated our local landscape and culture, encouraging the community to think about ‘Our Place in Space’, ‘How Does Your Garden Grow?’ and celebrate ‘Dreamtime to Our Time’. Each year the Kana banner leads the parade carried by members of the community. In 2018 the Colac Lions Club will be carrying the banner as they celebrated their 60th birthday in June.

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The volunteer Kana committee welcome ideas and feedback from participants, and are looking forward to the 60th anniversary Kana Festival celebrating ‘Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow’ on March 17th – as some of the original events and ideas will be revisited and explored!

People can find more information by visiting the Colac Kana Festival Facebook page or by emailing colackanafestival@hotmail.com.

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