City of Ballarat, Media Release, 27 January 2021
Ballarat’s signature festivals the Ballarat Begonia Festival and Ballarat Heritage Festival, formerly Ballarat Heritage Weekend, will be celebrated over an extended period this year.
The Ballarat Begonia Festival will be held from Saturday 6 March to Sunday 28 March and the Ballarat Heritage Festival will now be celebrated Friday 7 May to Sunday 30 May.
Both festivals have changed from their traditional weekend timeslots to 3 weeks, including 4 weekends of festival activation. The City of Ballarat’s decision to increase the festivals’ timeframe is to disperse crowds and ensure COVID safe principles can be adhered to, whilst providing greater opportunity for local businesses to capitalise on the increased visitation in the city as we look to economic recovery.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, it is no longer viable to have 60,000 people at the Ballarat Begonia Festival over the March long-weekend. Extending the City’s signature events will provide the community with more opportunity to attend, disperse crowds over a larger footprint and deliver event content in a way that provides greater benefit for local business.
Most of the event activities for the Ballarat Begonia Festival will be programmed centrally, outside of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens.
This year both events will feature new installations and exciting content to support festival favourites including the Begonia Display at the Robert Clark Conservatory and the Tweed Ride throughout Ballarat as part of the Ballarat Heritage Festival.