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Ballarat Begonia Festival 2018

Home > Melbourne > Community Events | Escape the City | Family | Festivals | Gardens
by Julia A (subscribe)
Whilst my day job pays the bills, writing lights my fire and allows me to dream big. Visit my blog midlifewanderlust65.blogspot.com.au/
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Tip toe through the Begonias
The Ballarat Begonia Festival is so much more than just beautiful flowers. This year marks the 66th year of this annual award-winning festival and will be held over the Labour Day long weekend in March 2018.



The Ballarat Begonia Festival is one of Australia's oldest and most popular community events. The inaugural festival was opened by Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies and in 1954 a young Queen Elizabeth attended to admire the floral displays, and the Queen Mother visited a few years later.

Over the years, the festival has included just about everything from car rallies, to sheep dog trials, talent quests, parades and even the prestigious Begonia Queen competition that ran until the 1990's.

Ballarat Begonia Festival 2018
A Ballarat Floral Art Group creation


This year's festival, being held from Saturday 10 March to Monday 12 March, features an exciting line up of entertainment, activities, gardening tips and talks, culinary delights and celebrity guests. Not to mention all the stunning floral displays and the stars of the festival, the beautiful Begonias.

Returning this year is popular television personality Costa Georgiadis from the ABC's Gardening Australia team who will bring his knowledge, energy and enthusiasm to the Garden Stage.

Ballarat Begonia Festival 2018
Popular television personality Costa Georgiadis

"Costa the Gnome" will also team up with the popular children's character 'dirtgirl' from Get Grubby TV to present several live performances that the kids will love.

But the entertainment doesn't stop there. Le Petite Grande Comedy Tent is a mini "spiegelesque" with comedy and circus shows on all weekend. If you love bubbles, check out the Dr Hubble's Bubble Show where one lucky child will be put inside a bubble. Or check out the love story of Kiki and Pascal with their singing, juggling, contortion, interactive comedy and acrobatics show. Maple Staplegun's comedy set using hula hoops and office supplies will leave audiences in stitches.

Ballarat Begonia Festival 2018
La Petite Grande


Ballarat Begonia Festival 2018
Dr Hubble's Bubble


There is also plenty of live music with Kailee O'Beirne, Anna Oliphant Wright, Kieran T and the sweet soul music of Motor City Sounds all playing over the weekend.

The kids haven't been forgotten, with heaps of activities including the budding gardeners' tent to encourage and inspire young green thumbs. Join Gneil the gnome on the 'Be-Gnome-ia' trail through the Ballarat Botanical Gardens and they can even make themselves their own gnome hat.

Ballarat Begonia Festival 2018
Gnome hunting in the garden


There is something for everyone at this year's festival. Download the program here for full details of all that's on.

There will also be a garden and creative designers market where you can admire and purchase fabulous garden items. The Botanical Gardens Tenant groups will be on hand with a variety of plants available for sale and plenty of tips to help you around your own garden.

Ballarat Begonia Festival 2018
Cr Samantha McIntosh - The Mayor of Ballarat


Hungry or thirsty? There will be a variety of food options and coffee available throughout the gardens. Pop into the Brewers and Distillers Garden, a peaceful oasis where you'll be able to sample some local beer and gin. Or visit the Mitchell Harris Wine Garden and enjoy a glass of your favourite drop and take a break from all the festivities.

Don't miss the Power FM Begonia Parade at 11am Monday 12 March. This iconic community event attracts around 10,000 people each year to watch local businesses, schools and community groups unite in celebration of Ballarat's diversity. The fun begins along Wendouree Parade, between the Tramway Museum and North Gardens. Get there early to grab a good spot.

Ballarat Begonia Festival 2018
The Parade


For a map of the festival and information on parking and getting around, please click here.

Ballarat is just an hour and 15 minutes west of Melbourne - 110km along the Western Freeway.

Or jump on a train from Melbourne's Southern Cross station, to arrive at the 19th-century Railway station right in the centre of town in less than 90 minutes.

Visit Ballarat can provide you with plenty of information to make the most of your visit to this historical gold mining town.
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Why? Free family fun amongst the begonias
When: Saturday 10 March to Monday 12 March 2018
Phone: 03 5320 5500
Where: Ballarat Botanical Gardens
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Nice photos Julia
by May Cross (score: 3|3274) 264 days ago
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