TOURISM, trade, community, sports and religion will come together under one banner when Lautoka City hosts "Arise Fiji" from September 9 to 16.
The eight-day spiritual, sporting, trade and community event is expected to draw over 50,000 people to the Sugar City — boosting tourism and economic activity.
In what has been described as a festival with a difference, Arise Fiji will see world famous sports superstars hold special coaching clinics alongside a famed Bollywood comedy act while local producers will showcase locally made wares for visitors and overseas guests.
"The event will also see world famous Bollywood personality Johnny Lever grace the city for three days and also world renowned sporting personalities — former and most capped Wallaby captain Nick Farr-Jones and former All Blacks star Michael Jones who will also hold special sporting clinics for rugby lovers," explained Lautoka special administrator Praveen Bala.
He said Lautoka was honoured to host an event of such magnitude — believed to be the first of its kind in the country.
Lautoka Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Pyara Singh urged all local manufacturers to be a part of the festival.
"We welcome all manufacturers in Fiji to come and proudly display their products. We have allocated 30 stalls for this purpose," he said.
Arise Fiji organising committee chairman Reverend Viliame Naivalu said the idea to host a festival themed "Stronger Families, Smarter Youths and Better Citizens" was seeded in Australia.
"We all unanimously decided to choose Lautoka as the venue of the Arise Fiji festival after a lot of prayer. While the festival is being held in Lautoka, we believe this will be a time of great rejoicing for the whole of the country," he said.