2019 Festival of International Understanding gets under way

Cowra's Festival of International Understanding officially kicks off today before a jam-packed lineup of events takes place over the weekend. 

Schools will have the opportunity to witness a unique blend of Australian and Japanese drumming when Wadaiko Rindo host a number of Taiko drumming workshops today at the Cowra Civic Centre at 9.30am, 11am and 1.30pm. 

At 4pm, the traditional tree planting ceremony will take place at Brougham Park. 

On Saturday, the Cowra Business Chamber and Japanese Chamber of Commerce will join forces for a business workshop and networking session at the Cowra Services Club from 1pm. 

The ringing of the Cowra Peace Bell will take place at 2.45pm with a performance by the Sydney Sakura Choir before the parade kicks off down Kendal Street at 3pm. 

The parade will community floats from both Cowra and Japan and spectators will also get the chance to check out the business windows decorated by Cowra students. 

The carnival will take place at Bryant Park, with the official welcome and Welcome to Country at 3.30pm. 

There will be plenty of activities, entertainment stalls and displays during the carnival but one of the main highlights will be the finals of the Karaoke competition - come along and be entertained by some of Cowra's best performers. 

The Sydney Sakura Choir, Wadaiko Rindo Taiko drumming group, Ren Yano, Yukihiro Doi, Junko Hirabayashi, Sydney Kyudo Club, Sydney Kimono Club and Yoshito Iko will hold performances and demonstrations alongside the Cowra Town Band, Cowra Ballet School, Kumiai Ryu and Insane Championship Wrestling Central West. 

The popular Rotary Duck Race will take place at 6pm, with the winners announced at 6.30pm. The evening will end with a fireworks display after 8pm. The fun doesn't stop there, with a number of events planned for Sunday. 

From 10am - 12pm, Kumiai Ryu Martial Arts will be holding a demonstration and introductory lesson at the Cowra Japanese Garden, with a gold coin donation entry to the Garden during this time. 

For film fans, there will also be three Japanese movies screened on Sunday at the Cowra Civic Centre - Mary and the Witch's Flower at 11am, Bakuman at 2pm and A Tale of Samurai Cooking: A true love tory at 4.30pm.