surinenglish

Thousands attend Manilva's international day

Musicians kept the crowds entertained during the day.
Musicians kept the crowds entertained during the day. / SUR
  • Organisers are celebrating after a record number of people turned up for the annual event

Thousands of people descended on the Castillo de la Duquesa for Manilva's 13th annual International Day last Saturday.

The family-friendly festival saw 25 different nationalities put up colourful stands around the historic castle to showcase their country's gastronomy, alcohol, culture, music and traditional dances.

Organisers say it was the biggest festival to date after more than 5,000 people visited the village during the course of the 12-hour event.

During the lively event scores of performers from all over the world took to the stage to entertain the crowds.

Organised by the Foreign Residents Department in Manilva, the event is designed to bring the various communities living in the town together.

Dean Shelton, 45, councillor for Foreign Affairs at Manilva council, told SUR in English: "It was the best one to date thanks in part to the large numbers who came and all the stall holders who gave their time up to represent their countries.

"One of the highlights for me was all the performers who took to the stage and performed for free, keeping the crowds entertained all day."

Countries represented at the event included: Brazil, Ukraine, United States, Russia, England, Ireland, Cuba, the Philippines, Argentina, India, Peri, Uruguay, Paraguay, Morocco, Thailand, Bangladesh and Spain.

This year a number of foreign residents also received trophies for helping out in the local community in Manilva, including Gary Beaumont, Stephen Amore, Myra Cecilia Azzopardi, Valentina Radu, Amanda Jean Kiff, Helma Van Doorn, Mads Sorensen, Joanne Little and the local animal welfare charity Adana.

Dean added: "It's all about making foreign nationalities welcome in Manilva and helping them to integrate. It was a fantastic event where different cultures got together and we are very happy with how it went."

Manilva, which includes Puerto de la Duquesa, Sabinillas and Castillo de la Duquesa, has some 16,000 residents, of whom 42 per cent are foreigners.