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Enlighten Festival 2016

Home > Canberra > Community Events | Family | Festivals | Markets | Nightlife
by Sue W (subscribe)
Lover of exploring, family, food and fun!
Event: -
Illuminated buildings, roving snails, live bands and more
Enlighten is an annual festival in Canberra, with some of the Capitals iconic landmarks and buildings lit up with colourful, architectural projections designed by talented artists. This year the buildings illuminated over nine nights will be Parliament House, Old Parliament House, National Library of Australia, Questacon, National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery of Australia (see more info here). Visitors can drive around and admire each location and also enjoy a range of exciting and unusual events that will be on in the city during the festival. As the sun sets each night, the city comes to life with colour, magic and a touch of mystery.

enlighten, parliament house, canberra, 2016, ACT, festivals, events
Old Parliament House, 2015. Source: Enlighten Facebook


Between the 4th - 13th of March there will be the popular Night Noodle Markets, with tantalising smells and a range of noodles, pho, dumplings and Asian inspired dishes to enjoy. The markets will be held in Reconciliation Place (behind Questacon) with seating under colourful lanterns or take your dinner to the grassy areas around the markets. This will be the second year of these popular markets, with locals and visitors coming out in their thousands to last years nightly markets. Follow your nose to the markets and enjoy the flavours of the Orient all in one location, over ten spectacular nights. See details here.

enlighten festival, canberra, 2016, ACT, events, noodle markets, nightlife, asian food, markstes, night markets,
Night Noodle Markets. Source: Enlighten Facebook


Roving around Reconciliation Place and the Parliamentary Triangle will be a range of unusual acts such as lamp posts that talk, 7 metre tall illuminated white rabbits, circus performers, aerial acrobatics, fashionable zebras, solar bug stilt walkers, floating illuminated jellyfish and of course - mythical, roving hairy snails with riders. See the Enlighten website for where to catch these exciting and imaginative acts.

Gastropodia, enlighten festival, canberra, march, 2016, ACT, events, festivals,
Gastropodia. Source: Enlighten website


Next to the Night Noodle Markets there will also be live music at the Electric Garden Outdoor Stage (seen in pink on the Enlighten map here) with performances by local and interstate talent starting between 8:30pm and 9:30pm each night.
The National Portrait Gallery is also hosting a free Dark Disco (5th and 12th of March) where the lights will be turned down and the music turned up so people can dance with freedom. See details here.

dark disco, enlighten 2016, canberra, festivals, events, ACT, noodle markets, nightlife,
Dark Disco. Source: Enlighten website


As well as these events, why not have a sunset dinner on the roof of Parliament House, watch the Circle of Light display from out the front or go underground with Geologist Wolf Mayer and have a tour of Parliament House like no other. There will also be Garden Tours, Behind the Scenes Tours and you can even dine inside Parliament House. If you like your evening entertainment to be on the spooky side, why not visit the National Archives for a tour with Tim the Yowie Man, local icon and historian.
See the Enlighten website here for a full list of events and details.

enlighten, canberra, 2016, festival, noodle markets, parliament house, ACT,
Sunset Dinner at Parliament House. Source: Enlighten website


The Enlighten Festival is a popular event each year, with new surprises and magical visions happening across the capital nightly. It is a special time of year when tourists and locals make their way into the city each evening to enjoy the spectacular projections and take advantage of the many free activities and entertainment on offer. All ages can enjoy the festival atmosphere and marvel at the magic (and surprises!) that is Enlighten...

enlighten 2016, enlighten, canberra, 2016, zebras, ACT, events, festivals,
Keep an eye out for these fashionable zebras roving around the Parliamentary Triangle on the evenings of 4th and 5th March.

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Why? Nine nights of illuminations and ten nights of noodles!
When: Architectural illuminations begin at 8pm.
Phone: The Canberra and Region Visitors Centre: 1300 852 780
Where: All over Canberra, see website for details of each event
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