Ballarat Begonia Festival

Ballarat Begonia Festival


Posted 2024-02-03 by Jenfollow

Sat 09 Mar 2024 - Mon 11 Mar 2024

Images - Ballarat Begonia Festival

A joy to behold every year, this year's Ballarat Begonia Festival is set to debut a never-before-seen begonia flower over the Labour Day long weekend - 9 to 11 March 2024 from 10am to 5pm. The brand new begonia cultivar will be named after the Ballarat Botanical Gardens’ inaugural curator - Begonia ‘George Longley’ - and you'll have to wait for the colour of the new flower, which will be revealed at the Festival. This new flower becomes the third begonia variety the team at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens has cultivated for this annual event - the last begonia debuted in 2023 was the Begonia 'Peter Marquand'. Visit the 150-year-old gardens and take in the spectacular display of rare begonias in the Robert Clark Conservatory.

Another first for the festival long weekend is the world premiere of SWAY's new show - These Things. It's a sensory experience where music, dance and circus acts collide to immerse and transport you all to a world where boundaries between reality and fantasy are blurred. This new production is set to either mesmerise you or have your heart in your mouth as performers swing, spin and bend atop tall poles adorned with begonias. You'll find them on the main lawn of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens at Gillies Street North, N, Ballarat. Admire the artistic 'Begonia' letters display on Sturt Street, designed by Wadawurrung Traditional Owner and artist Billy O’Toole. Each letter symbolises a unique aspect of Wadawurrung Country.

Come along and be enchanted with the festival's vibrant program that features breathtaking floral displays with over 500 begonias on display in 2024, mesmerising performances and engaging activities for all ages. What better time to celebrate nature and community, amidst bright and beautiful stilt-walking bees, bugs and butterflies as they rove throughout the Botanical Gardens, for perhaps a magical selfie with you! There are more than 20 market stalls to explore, with a range of flowers, plants and garden gifts so you can take home a piece of the Festival. Enjoy a lineup of interactive workshops, cooking demos and talks by Paul West (River Cottage), Hannah Moloney (Gardening Australia), Courtney Roulston (Masterchef) and Jerry Coleby-Williams. Paul the River Cottage personality will run horticulture and nature-based presentations as well as cooking demonstrations (skirt tacos and grilled chilli corn).

Hannah the ABC Gardening Australia host will present some sustainability and gardening workshops on ‘how to grow from scratch’ and ‘how to build a wicking bed.’ Courtney the MasterChef Australia alumni will demonstrate how to cook Vietnamese prawn fritters and a barbecue vegetable salad with coconut rice. Jerry the Festival’s resident begonia expert will share his knowledge on how to grow begonias as well as how he has managed to live sustainably for 20 years. This Festival is not just for adults, there's lots of fun to be had by the kids as well. There's Integra Tiny Town (mini cubbies to explore), face painting and art and crafts from the Art Gallery of Ballarat. Plus, an intriguing journey through the Begonia Maze. The Western Bulldogs will also return to the Ballarat Begonia Festival with a fun and engaging footy clinic in the dedicated Sports Zone, and the Perfit Obstacle Course is where you can challenge your strength, agility and speed.

Well-known and emerging local artists will also be performing for you and includes Sweet Mona’s Choir, The Hardies Hillbillies, The Milla Williams Duo, Los Locos, Geoffrey Williams, Whizbang and The Darling Family Trust. For the full festival program, be sure to check out the [lINK website]. It's free entry to the event, with food and drinks, wares and experiences on the premises to purchase. Indulge in scrumptious offerings from over 20 food and beverage vendors spread across two locations or relax and unwind at the Begonia Bar featuring locally crafted beverages from some of Ballarat’s favourite brewers and distillers.

Don't miss the grand finale of the Festival - the Power FM Begonia Parade on Monday 11 March. This year’s parade features 30 community groups, schools and businesses, promising a vibrant and celebratory procession through the heart of the city. Another place not to miss, the Fernery. Fern Fever is the theme for this year and it pays tribute to the Ballarat Fernery, one of Australia's oldest that dates back to the 1880s when its construction was overseen by George Longely. The Fernery will reopen during the Festival after being restored. The ‘Fern Fever’ theme will continue with spiral designs and embedded shapes of fern fronds inspiring the famous begonia display. Visitors are invited to explore the rich history of The Fernery, which showcases 400 ferns inside and 400 exotic plants in the grounds - a testament to the city's botanical heritage. As aforementioned, scour the website for all information and prepare for an engaging Labour Day Weekend with nature.

276636 - 2024-01-29 23:09:34


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