Haldon Street in Lakemba has always been a great attraction in the media, sometimes for the right reasons and sometimes for the wrong reasons.
In its incredible 17th year, the Haldon Street Festival held on Saturday 28 October in Lakemba being the city’s cultural epicentre, exploded with colour, the fragrance of multicultural food and a wonderful community turn out.
More than 20,000 people gathered on the small street strip in Lakemba to watch camels, performers, try delicious varieties of food and do their shopping.
Lakemba has been through a lot of negative press, primarily the suburb being viewed through the bigoted lens as a Muslim ghetto: a mini-Lebanon.
But that is far from the truth.
One of the best things about Lakemba is that although it has a Muslim majority, a number of events are held from time to time to welcome mainstream communities.
At the festival, there were stalls of other religious groups as well selling non-halal items for those who wished to try them.
Over 80 stalls selling international food, I Love Lakemba mugs, jewellery and produce as well as a fun photo booth that were loved by the crowd.
The halal snack pack- eating competition, was hosted by Channel 9’s Family Food Fight starring the Shahrouk sisters.
The first person to devour their Al-Aseel snack pack won a 2018 Bulldogs family membership.
Lakemba fashion designer Amalina Mardiyah Aman, whose designs have appeared at New York Fashion Week, launched her 2017 spring and summer collection at the festival.
The Haldon Street Festival in Lakemba indeed is such a beautiful representation of a truly Australian multicultural suburb.