By SALLY GORDON
THE roaring success of yesterday's inaugural Multicultural Festival of the Five Senses in Grafton has laid the foundation for it to become an annual event on the Clarence Valley calendar.
More than 700 festival-goers converged on Grafton's Market Square to sample the international delights of the colourful event.
Its popularity is tipped to give organisers a toehold in securing future multicultural events and add to the Clarence Valley's burgeoning festival program.
Grafton's long-running annual Jacaranda Festival is known nationally, as is Maclean's annual Highland Gathering.
Yamba joined the festival program last year with its Surfing the Coldstream.
At the Festival of Five Senses yesterday by 11.30am, Market Square was packed with spectators drawn by the hypnotic moves of brightly clothed tribal belly-dancers and spicy aromas of ethnic cuisine. Volunteers manning the food stalls, which offered tastes from Indonesia, the Philippines, Mexico, India and Germany, were run off their feet at lunchtime.
Multicultural festival committee member Dolores Close said the early rush on food stalls surprised.
"The food stalls were a roaring success, in fact the success happened a little too quickly," she said.
Workshops enjoyed similar success with people flocking to learn belly dancing.
Craft displays were popular.
Ms Close said that after a few years of financial help from state and local government, it was hoped the festival would become self-sufficient.