Sometimes it's possible to hear grumblings in the Marlborough community about foreigners, sometimes it's also possible to hear complaints that there is not enough in the way of free local events and entertainment. The 2010 Marlborough Multicultural Festival showed clearly how the influx of different cultures, both short and long term, into the region can bring with it vibrancy and turn on a great show. As one of the least populous regions in New Zealand, Marlborough showed once again it can punch far above its weight when it comes to turning on a great show for the whole family. Even more spectacular, the event was largely a volunteer effort, with a team made up of both local Marlburians and recent migrants.
Performers of a wide range of nationalities entertained with performances of a standard that at times the show seemed more like a final of 'Stars in their Eyes' or some other similar TV talent show. These performers gave their best, not for money, but simply to give something back to Marlborough.
An invitation for visitors to the festival to dress in their national costumes resulted in a colourful crowd, and part way through the day an impromptu fashion parade gave those who'd dressed up for the day an opportunity to get together and show off their outfits.
In spite of the heat, a good number of people chose to stay for the duration of the festival, a clear indication of the standard of presentation.
For those people who didn't manage to get along this year, you're missing out on a great free family show. The good news is there will be another festival next year.