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Get ready to party, Manila-style

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Folklorama may be over, but Manitoba’s Filipino community is keeping the cultural party going.
The second annual Manitoba Filipino Street Festival parades through north Winnipeg on Sat., Aug. 24.

Some 16 decorative floats will kick off the festival at 9 a.m. when they start drifting out of the Northgate Shopping Centre parking lot and head down McPhillips Street, toward the Garden City Shopping Centre, for a full day of music, dance and other activities, organizer Aida Champagne said.

"People will be dressed up and dancing on the street to the beat of the drum," said Champagne, a Maples resident. "It’s going to be a wonderful thing."

On top of inflatable play rooms, there will be games, face painting and giveaways galore throughout the day, Champagne said.

From noon to 4 p.m., the festival will stage a number of cultural dance and singing performances inside the mall, highlighting the various cultural traditions across each province of the Philippines — sights and sounds attendees might not have had a chance to see at the two Filipino pavilions at Folklorama, Champagne said.

"This is a collaboration of community involvement," said Champagne, adding the festival is modelled after similar long-standing festivals in other Filipino-rich cities like Toronto and Vancouver.

"It’s just like a Mardi Gras."

More than 2,000 people attended the festival’s debut last year, though Champagne expects that number to grow this year. More than 44 local Filipino organizations are participating, up from 33 last year, and the festival’s sponsorships have doubled, she noted.

The festival will run until 9 p.m. and feature several bands that will close out the night. Food vendors will provide all the adobo, longaniza, pancit, and turon that a stomach can digest.

There will be no alcohol at the event, Champagne noted.

There are about 65,000 Filipinos living in Manitoba.

For more, visit the festival’s website at http://filipinostreetfestival.ca or www.facebook.com/ManitobaFilipinoStreetFestival.

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