The Cowra Festival of International Understanding will be back from the 25th to 28th March 2021, with New Zealand returning as Guest Nation.
Following a peace bell ringing ceremony last Friday afternoon, a special 'Festival Relaunch' dinner was held at the Cowra Civic Centre, which included a video message from the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, a speech by special guest Her Excellency, the New Zealand High Commissioner to Australia, the Hon Dame Annette King, an inspiring traditional Maori song and dance performance and presentations by this year's Youth Ambassadors.
The relaunch weekend continued on Saturday with Mayor of Cowra, Cr Bill West and Dame Annette undertaking the official Festival tree planting in Brougham Park, followed by a tour of the Cowra POW Camp site, War Cemetery, Visitors Centre, Bellevue Hill Lookout and the Cowra Japanese Garden.
"With Covid-19 restrictions in place, we unfortunately had to cancel this year's Festival. This was the first time in its 56 year history that the event hasn't taken place, and a decision that was made with great disappointment," said Mayor of Cowra, Cr Bill West.
"With the relaunch the Festival for 2021, we are honoured and delighted to welcome our friends and neighbour, New Zealand back as guest nation for the Festival next year. We look forward to the return of this important community event with a program full of activities, workshops and competitions in the weeks leading up to the festival as well as the traditional Festival events," Cr West continued.