Floriade Festival: The Supreme Spring
Every year the city of Canberra blooms with flowers and festivities to celebrate the onset of spring. The 2015 Floriade promises to be hard to top, with one million flowers in bloom. The event will run from Saturday, September 12 to Sunday, October 11 and admission is free. Over 400,000 guests from all over the world are expected.
This month-long tradition first began in 1988 when Peter Sutton and Chris De Bruine came up with a mind-blowing floral display to commemorate Australia’s bicentennial and Canberra’s 75th birthday. Canberra has the perfect climate to grow annuals and all kinds of exotic flowers, so it truly was a sight to see. The locals fell in love with the event and all its splendour, including music, culture, workshops, art displays, and local entertainment in addition to the brilliant flowers.
This year’s Floriade will welcome guests to Commonwealth Park with a series of events inspired by the theme Reflection. Visitors will have the usual array of events to choose from, including classes by gardening experts, culinary demonstrations, musical performances and plenty of kid-friendly fun as well. The celebration will be broken down into weekly themes including Stories, Pride, Connections, and Harmony.
Week 1: Stories September 12-20
This week will invite guests to explore the stories told by the food, art, music, fashion and culture in our lives. Sit back and enjoy the floral-inspired fashion design competition called Hori-couture. Attend citizenship ceremonies to welcome new residents. Laugh and learn from author Gretel Killeen.
Week 2: Pride September 21-27
Celebrate national pride at the Inspiration Hub with stories, demonstrations, workshops and displays about Australia. You can also listen to the ponderings of newspaper columnist, radio host and author, Peter FitzSimons.
Week 3: Connections September 28 – October 4
Learn family history and cultural practices and make the connections to who we are now. Learn about our heritage through dance, art and even dreamtime story workshops with Wiradjuri Echoes. See how to cook modern dishes based on native food and culture with Mark Olive.
Week 4: Harmony October 5-11
Visit the Inspiration Hub to enjoy art inspired by nature, painting and sculpture lessons, and get educated about endangered species. Award-winning chef and author Karen Martini will be presenting The Kitchen Company Tasting Plate, where she talks about her sincere love for food.
The Garden Beds
Every year, as the theme changes, so do the floral displays. This year the gardens honour the 100th anniversary of the Anzac landings at Gallipoli. In line with the theme of Reflection, the beds will be representing symbols of war and peace, including the “rising sun”; peace; poppy; last post; medals; eternal flame; wattle sprig; love letters; aeroplane fields; red cross; two-up; slouch hat; southern cross; and colour patches.
Dogs Day Out: Tuesday, October 6
This part of the celebration was only started last year, but due to its rousing popularity, it’s back! Animals are not typically welcome due to the risk of flowerbed damage, however, for one day only you can bring your pooches with you. Information will be provided on the day so you will know where your pets are permitted.
Please be sure to follow all rules and restrictions so they will be welcome again next year.
RULES AND RESTRICTIONS:
- All dogs must remain on a leash at all times.
- Dogs and owners must remain on designated paths and must not enter any garden bed at any time.
- Dogs may not enter any indoor venue or food outlet.
- Dogs must be picked up after and all waste disposed of responsibly.
- Dogs may only enter Commonwealth Park during opening hours of Tuesday 6 October 2015.
- Due to the large number of dogs expected to attend, no other animals will be permitted to attend.
Dogs Day Out is made possible by the help of RSPCA volunteers. Why not thank this group of animal lovers by donating on the day? Splendid idea! You can donate here.
NightFest September 23-27
Watch Floriade really come to life when the sun goes down! This will be the eighth year with evening events including light shows, live comedy, and DJs. You can stroll the markets and shops or relax with a cocktail as music fills the air. Whatever your heart desires, you’ll find it here.
Floriade has become such a celebration the Australian Capital Tourism and Events ACT have come up with a strategic plan for it. In doing so, Floriade is recognized as a leader in tourism and will help develop it into a world-class tourism event. This also means environmental practices need to be top-notch. From bicycle racks being installed to switching to green power; from expanding their recycling program to using sustainable materials; Floriade is taking all the right steps to making this celebration modern in every way. They are even phasing out smoking, so please pay attention to signs and heed requests.
It should be pretty plain to see, at this point, that Floriade is quite the spectacle. With such beauty to behold, events to experience, and memories to be made, you really do just need to go and live it. Life is too short to miss out on this amazing celebration!