Brazilian Fantasy dancers

Rhythm queens … Brazilian Fantasy will perform on Saturday, 4.25pm. Photo: James Brickwood

Pick of the week

Getting alongside 350 Latin musicians and dancers can be a scary business if your salsa moves aren't up to scratch.

Not to worry, says the event manager of the Darling Harbour Fiesta, Sal Sharah. ''As long as you can move your body, the music and rhythm will do the rest.''

And there's plenty to get people moving this weekend - acts from Chile, Colombia, Peru and more will bring sizzling performances to three outdoor stages in a program of 16 hours of free entertainment.

The annual event - which started in 1992 to coincide with the Barcelona Olympics - is one of the most popular free Sydney festivals on the calendar, last year drawing about 270,000 visitors.

''Of all the cultural festivals that people can share at Darling Harbour, this is the most colourful and entertaining,'' Sharah says. ''It just exudes flair and excitement, and people just want to come down and share in that, whether they are from a South American or Latino background or everyday Australians - they just love getting that Latin American experience right here in the heart of Sydney.''

International acts this year include Grammy-winning percussionist Bill Summers and Chilean pop-rocker Francisca Valenzuela.

Marcos Moran is bringing his Brazilian Fantasy production to the event for the eighth year, which features a mix of carnivale girls, capoeira performers and batucada drummers. ''We enjoy the multicultural aspect,'' he says. ''We have people from all different cultures come and celebrate together. Everybody is like one - that's the beauty of it.''

Highlights include a samba parade tomorrow night, and 11 food stalls will be on hand to keep energy levels up.

The Fiesta weekend kicks off with salsa lessons at 12.30pm tomorrow. Ole!

DARLING HARBOUR FIESTA

Tonight, 6-8pm, Saturday, noon-10pm, and Sunday, noon-6pm, and then every Friday in October, darlingharbour.com, free.