Gearing up for the Carnivale at next year's Multicultural Festival in Garema Place, are dancers from Kokoloco Dance Studio. L to R Adriana Gonzalez of Ainslie, Sian Willoughby of Kambah and Jess Round from Kambah.

More than 260,000 attended the festival last year - a figure organisers hope to break in 2013. Photo: Graham Tidy

Already one of Canberra’s more anticipated annual events, the National Multicultural Festival is hoping to go bigger than ever for the capital’s centenary year.

With seven stages of entertainment and celebrities Kate Ceberano and Jay Laga’aia as the Faces of the Festival, the three-day affair will transform the city centre. Here’s what’s on:

Friday

During Multifringe, a number of Click for more photos

Multicultural Festival 2013

During Multifringe, a number of "Gene Pools" will be dotted around Civic, so members of our multicultural backgrounds wearing jeans can cool off. Photo: Graham Tidy

The party kicks off at 4.30pm on Friday with an evening of music and dance at Stage 1 in Garema Place.

Minister Joy Burch will officially launch the festival at 6.30pm, before singer Kate Ceberano takes the stage with her band. Other performers on the night include roots musician Benny Walker, reggae group Caribbean Soul, five-piece melodic rock band Low Speed Bus Chase and East Timorese folk-funk band Sol Nation.

Saturday

Singer Kate Ceberano.

Singer Kate Ceberano. Photo: Supplied

Festivities begin about 9.30am.

The Children’s Parade is at 4pm and goes from London Circuit along East Row to Stage 1 in Garema Place, led by Jay Laia'aga.

The Canivale Parade is at 5pm and goes from Akuna Street and London Circuit along East Row to Stage 1 in Garema Place.

The Children’s Sanctuary will be open from 10am to 6pm outside the Canberra Museum and Gallery, with arts, crafts, storytelling and dancing.

The Oasis for older Canberrans will be open from 11am to 6pm between The Canberra Times Fountain and Akuna Street with music, tea, and free medical checks.

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu and Christine Anu will perform as part of the Indigenous Showcase in the evening. Gurrumul is due to take the stage about 7.45pm.

Performances on Stage 1 in Garema Place begin at 9.30am; Stage 2 in Petrie Plaza will hold a Pacific Islander Showcase from 10am and then more performances from 6pm; Stage 3 in Akuna Street will be India in the City; Stage 4 at The Canberra Times Fountain has the African Village and Garba Dances; Stage 5 at the Canberra Theatre has the Indigenous Showcase; Stage 6 at London Circuit and Akuna Street features a mix of performances from 10.15am until 11pm; and Performance Platform 1 in Petrie Plaza will be home to the Latin American Quarters.

The Multicultural Fringe Festival returns in 2013 in a special zone at City Walk South, beyond Akuna Street. Highlights include two Gene Pools for taking a dip, a multi-slam featuring Omar Musa at 5pm, Kulture Break performing at 5.45pm and a dance party from 8.30pm.

Sunday

The final day of the Festival will feature Chinese New Year Celebrations in Petrie Plaza from 10am, a citizenship ceremony at The Canberra Times Fountain at 10am, and music and dance performances up until 5.30pm.

Full program via the Multicultual Festival website

Download the map and stall guide