Preparations are now all set for the much awaited 6th Melanesian Arts and Cultural Festival which will start this Sunday at the Lawson Tama stadium in Honiara.
Senior cultural officials from the participating countries have already arrived and are preparing for the arrival of the full delegations, where they will hold a two day meeting on the 28th and 29th.
MACFEST Organizing committee director, Mr Dennis Marita said the Minister of Culture for Papua New Guinea has already arrived, and Vanuatu senior officials have already arrived today as well as Fiji.
Mr Marita said the first component of the Vanuatu delegation has already arrived today, New Caledonia delegation will arrive tomorrow, PNG delegation will arrive on Friday, and the Fijian delegation on Saturday.
He said for the other invited members such as the Torres Straight Islands, East Timor, and West Papua have yet to confirm their their arrival date, but the Taiwanese indigenous delegation will arrived on the 5th of next month.
“So far seven hundred plus delegates have already been confirmed for the festival,”he said.
“PNG is coming with a 150 member delegation, New Caledonia 148 member delegation, Fiji 80 members,Vanuatu 60, Taiwan will bring 15 members, and Solomon Islands as the host country has the highest at 300 member delegation.”
Mr Marita said apart from the meetings, a traditional and cultural ceremony will be held for officials and delegations on Saturday.
He said the opening ceremony will be held on the next day on Sunday at the Lawson Stadium.
A visit by SIBC today to the main venues saw most of traditional huts mostly completed, with more final touches expected to be completed within the next two to three days.
The main venues for the festival are: National Art Gallery, Nationa Museum, Panatina field, Lawson Tama, SINU Kukum campus, High Court grounds, and the Kukum marine school.