25 countries come to Mississauga for biggest multicultural festival in Canada


Published May 2, 2024 at 11:57 am

Carassauga Festival 2024 in Mississauga.
Carassauga 2024 takes place May 24-26 at various locations across the city. Photo shows performers during opening ceremony at the 2019 festival. (Photo: Carassauga Festival)

The largest multicultural festival in Canada returns to Mississauga this month.

Featuring pavilions representing 25 countries, Carassauga Festival of Cultures, in its 39th year, runs May 24-26 at various venues across Mississauga, as usual.

The signature Mississauga event unofficially kicks off the major festival season in the city, which continues into September.

Carassauga organizers say those who attend each year have come “to love the music, dress and theatrics of artisans” who perform.

“Each of our pavilions showcases their artistic culture through singers, dancers and musical bands, giving visitors the opportunity to be surrounded by the sights and sounds of the country being represented,” festival officials said on Carassauga’s website.

“Carassauga Festival of Cultures has become an important annual event in Mississauga’s calendar and its popularity has steadily increased in recent years. As the largest multicultural festival in Canada, taking place at the end of May each year, it celebrates the diversity of our city through entertainment, food and culture.”

Including a wide array of nations from Canada and the U.S. to Ireland, Portugal, China and many others, this year’s festival does its best to touch all parts of the globe.

Things get started on the Friday night, May 24, with the Opening Ceremony, Parade of Nations, fireworks and a musical performance from 7 to 10 p.m.

The 25 pavilions then open to the public the following two days — May 25 from noon until 11 p.m. and May 26 from noon until 7 p.m. — at numerous locations, including the Paramount Fine Foods Centre starting at noon.

Thirteen festival stages will host performances every hour, organizers said, adding entertainment for kids is also a key part of the festival experience.

Carassauga passports cost $15, with children age 12 and under admitted free of charge.

The passport entitles the holder to:

  • unlimited entry to all cultural pavilions throughout the weekend
  • access to live performances, food vendors and kids’ activities
  • free rides on MiWay buses during festival hours
  • free rides on Carassauga shuttle buses during festival hours
  • free parking at all locations

Carassauga 2024 takes place at various cultural and recreation centres in Mississauga, giving visitors the opportunity to “travel the world” without leaving the city, organizers note.

Locations are:

  • Mississauga Valley Community Centre
  • Paramount Fine Foods Centre
  • Burnhamthorpe Community Centre
  • Frank McKechnie Community Centre
  • Canadian Coptic Centre
  • Portuguese Cultural Centre of Mississauga
  • Sava Serbian Centre (this facility is not wheelchair accessible)

Free transportation is available on MiWay buses and Carassauga shuttle buses connecting all the locations during festival hours to those with Carassauga passports.

New to Carassauga this year, on-board tour guides will give those on the shuttle buses a little history and culture lesson.

A 2023 Carassauga trailer video can be viewed below.

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