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Enlighten Festival 2018 - A Nightly Guide

Home > Canberra > Markets | Festivals | Community Events | Art | Nightlife
by Sue W (subscribe)
Lover of exploring, family, food and fun!
Event: -
Scroll through the list and see what's on tonight
The Enlighten Festival is back for another year and this year it's even bigger and better! It will be held between 2nd and 18th March, in locations all around the city. This year the event has extended beyond the illuminations that are projected onto Canberra's iconic buildings and now also include the Canberra Balloon Spectacular, Canberra Day and Skyfire into their program. The illuminations have also been extended to the Australian National University campus and the City Renewal Authority will have some surprising "pop up" installations around the city to brighten up the city centre at night.

The two main highlights each year are the Illuminations and the highly popular Night Noodle Markets, which run over the same period. Arrive hungry and you won't be disappointed! There is also a HUGE list of other events, installations and artistic performances that will be held throughout the Parliamentary Triangle and around the city. This list below is a nightly guide, so just scroll through the list and see what's on. There is guaranteed to be A LOT!

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Walk or drive around the Parliamentary Triangle to view the artistic illuminations. Image: Enlighten Facebook


See the Enlighten advertisement for 2018 below, courtesy of You Tube.




EVERY NIGHT Between 2nd - 11th March

Illuminations will be shone onto Parliament House, The National Portrait Gallery, The National Library of Australia, the Museum of Australian Democracy (Old Parliament House), the National Gallery of Australia and Questacon. Marvel at the range of designs, colours and effects, which can be seen from across the city. See here for details and times.

The Enlighten Night Noodle Markets will be held at Reconciliation Place, starting at 5pm weekdays and 4pm on weekends. This event will run every night between 2nd and 11th March, with delicious Asian street food on offer. Also expect to see roving performers, art installations and pop up theatre after dark. See here for details.

Metamorphosis
is an art installation of giant, glowing, musical cocoons, that will be located within the Parliamentary Triangle. See here for details.

Vision is a octagonal art installation, proudly presented by PAK Lighting, which will be located on the East Lawns. See here for details.

Angler Abyss is an artistic installation of a deep sea creature - wander through the jaws of the giant inflatable sea creature if you dare! Look for it in the Parliamentary Triangle. See here for details.

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A range of Asian street food cuisine at the Night Noodle Markets. Image: Enlighten Facebook


FRIDAY, 2nd March

Switch On
- watch the Illumination lights get officially turned on at the National Library of Australia at 7:45pm. Stay and be entertained by Canberra RnB Collective. See here for details.

Light and Dark Night Tours will be held at the Australian National Botanical Gardens, for visitors to enjoy the gardens by lantern light. This event will be held on the 2nd, 3rd, 8th, 9th and 10th March. See here for details.

Masquerade Party with a Twist
will be held at Parliament House, with a Black Tie dress code and a mask for some elusive mystery. Take this unique opportunity to have a party at the exclusive Members and Guests Terrace of Parliament House! This is for one night only. See here for details.

Get Groovy at the National Library is a celebration of 50 years since the building opened in 1968. On Friday nights there will be 60's music, dancing, kid's disco and art and craft stations. This family friendly event will be held on 2nd and 9th March (with live music on Saturdays 3rd and 10th March). See here for details.

The Sleep Keepers is a pop up, outdoor theatrical production, that will be in the Parliamentary Triangle on the 2nd and 3rd March. See here for details.

Neon Circus will be the theme at the National Gallery of Australia, with talented circus performers and giant projections of stunning artworks. Afterwards, move inside for a No Lights No Lycra dance party. This event will be held on 2nd and 3rd March. See here for details.

Stay Up Late With Moad, is a late night viewing of the Museum of Australian Democracy (Old Parliament House), which includes the Card Castle. This event will be held 2nd, 3rd, 9th and 10th March. See here for details.

Elephantessence will be roaming in the Parliamentary Triangle, on the 2nd and 3rd March. Look out for two pachyderms, bubbles and a whole lot of fun! See here for details.

Questacon Science Museum will have Flashing Fairy Floss and Tequila! The Science of Mezcal, on 2nd and 9th March.

Musicians and Singers will be performing at The Enlighten Main Stage, such as The Advocates, The Colours Are, Ned Philpot and Owen Campbell.

Don't forget to check out Enlighten Alley!

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Flashing fairy floss - popular with all ages as the sun goes down! Image: Enlighten Facebook


SATURDAY, 3rd March

Get Groovy at the National Library is a celebration of 50 years since the building opened in 1968. On Saturday nights there will be local musical talent Brass Knuckle Brass Band, Moaning Lisa, Tessa Devine, Jack Bilman, Massive Sherlock and East Row Rabble. This Saturday night event will be held on 3rd and 10th March (with a family friendly event on Fridays 2nd and 9th March). See here for details.

Twilight on the Savannah will be held at the National Zoo and Aquarium, with live classical music and viewing of the new savannah area. This event will be held on the 3rd and 10th March. See here for details.

Sunset Drinks at Questacon will be held on 3rd and 10th March. See here for details.

Unconformity is a geological tour at Parliament House, on 3rd and 4th March. See here for details.

Musicians and Singers will perform on the Enlighten Main Stage, which include The Advocates, Hard Cover, Shorty & Chow and Simon Anau Band.

* Also on this night will be Enlighten Alley, Light and Dark Night Tours, The Sleep Keepers, Stay Up Late with Moad, Neon Circus and Elephantessence.

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Enjoy the colour and action of Neon Circus. Image: Enlighten website


SUNDAY, 4th March

Late Night Openings at the National Portrait Gallery is a good opportunity to view Australia's most prized portraits by night. This event will be held on 4th, 9th and 10th March. See here for details.

* Also on this night will be Unconformity.

TUESDAY, 6th March

Wide Brown Land at the National Arboretum is a guided scenic forest walk to the Wide Brown Land sculpture, to enjoy sunset views over the city. Return to the Visitor Centre by torchlight and get a special evening viewing of the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection, before enjoying a cool drink and delicious canapés out on terrace. This event is for one night only. See here for details.

WEDNESDAY, 7th March

Dinner Under The Stars will be held at the National Arboretum, with an outdoor dining area set up in the Canberra Discovery Garden. This is for one night only. See here for details.

Mint Master Class will be held at the Royal Australian Mint, where participants can enjoy an exclusive master class hosted by Royal Australian Mint coin designers. This event will be held 7th, 8th, 14th and 15th March. See here for details.

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Mint Master Classes - book early to avoid disappointment. Image: Enlighten website


THURSDAY, 8th March

Dairy Farmers Hill Sunset at the National Arboretum is a scenic guided forest walk to watch the sunset from Dairy Farmers Hill, before returning to the Margaret Whitlam Pavilion for live music and canapés. This event is for one night only. See here for details.

Surreal Night will be held at the Canberra Glassworks, with demonstrations, exhibitions, installations and the chance to make your own piece of art. This event will be for one night only. See here for details.

ANU Enlighten Minds will be held at the ANU campus, with vibrant projections and a special Saturday night market. This event will be held on 8th, 9th, 10th, 15th and 16th March. See here for details.

* Also on this night will be Mint Master Class and Light and Dark Night Tours.

FRIDAY, 9th March

What Lies Beneath? is a mystical, roving installation which will be roaming the Parliamentary Triangle on 9th and 10th March. See here for details.

Lights On Luminescence will be held at the National Portrait Gallery, with vocal performances from the Luminescence Chamber Singers. This event will be held on the 9th and 10th March. See here for details.

Musicians and singers Betty Alto, Nick Hill, Exhibitionist and Ric Rufio will all be performing on the Enlighten Main Stage, for one night only.

Lights! Canberra! Action! is a film festival that will be held in the Senate Rose Gardens at Old Parliament House, for one night only. See here for details.

* Also on this night there will be Enlighten Alley, Light and Dark Night Tours, Get Groovy at the National Library, Late Night Openings at the National Portrait Gallery, Stay Up Late With Moad, Flashing Fairy Floss at Questacon, Tequila! The Science of Mezcal and ANU Enlighten Minds.

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Sit back and enjoy the night at Lights! Canberra! Action! Image: Enlighten Facebook


SATURDAY, 10th March

Musicians and singers Teischa, Electric Fields and The Hot Potato Band will be on the Enlighten Main Stage in the Parliamentary Triangle, for one night only.

Neon Caves is a performance that will be held on the Questacon Lawns at 7pm, 7:30pm, 8pm and 8:30pm. See here for details.

The Canberra Balloon Spectacular will be held between 10th - 18th March. See here for details.

* Also on this night there will be Enlighten Alley, What Lies Beneath? Light and Dark Night Tours, Twilight on the Savannah, Get Groovy and the National Library, Late Night Openings at the National Portrait Gallery, Lights on Luminescence, Stay Up Late With Moad, Sunset Drinks at Questacon and ANU Enlighten Minds.

SUNDAY, 11th March

Symphony in the Park will be held at Stage 88 at Commonwealth Park. The Canberra Symphony Orchestra will be joined by Queen tribute band Killer Queen Experience, for a night to remember! See here for details.

SUNDAY, 11th March - SUNDAY 18th March

After the illuminations finish on Sunday, 11th March, there are still several more events listed for another week, which includes Night Photography Workshops and events at the National Film and Sound Archive and National Archives. It is also the week of Canberra Day and Skyfire - don't miss the unique opportunity to watch the firework display from Parliament House! See the full program here.

This HUGE list just shows what a popular, impressive and exciting event Enlighten is for the Capital City, with new ideas and events added every year. Enjoy every minute!

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Expect the unexpected at Enlighten. Image: Original photos from Enlighten Facebook

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Why? Be swept away in the magic!
When: See Program for dates and times
Phone: Canberra Region Visitor Centre 1300 852 780
Where: Night Noodle Markets - Reconciliation Place, Parkes Place West, Parkes, ACT
Cost: See Program for prices
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