Canberra is set to turn 105 and we reckon once you’ve reach triple digits a single day of celebration isn’t nearly enough. Below are our picks to help celebrate a long weekend of birthday fun.
At 105 we’re turning the tables on tradition. It may be our birthday but everyone’s invited to our party and we’re sharing our presents with you too. Get ready to unwrap a long weekend jam packed with festivals. What’s the icing on top of our birthday cake? All these festivities are free to attend!
Start your weekend early with a Friday night to remember at Enlighten Festival’s illuminations. Wake up to a picture perfect Saturday as over 30 hot air balloons take to the sky as the sun rises at the Canberra Balloon Spectacular. Magical music is in store for you on Sunday as the Canberra Symphony Orchestra join forces with The Killer Queen Experience to perform the best of music royalty, Queen. End your ultimate long weekend at the big birthday celebrations at Canberra Day, a public holiday in the ACT.
Various venues including the Parliamentary Triangle
Kick start the weekend exploring the strange, unexpected and beautiful at Enlighten Festival. Snap a selfie at art installations, be mesmerised by live music and explore our national attractions as they open their doors after-hours for exclusive experiences. It’s all set against a backdrop of stunning architectural projections. And it’s not a proper celebration without delicious delicacies. Feast on Asian eats at the Enlighten Night Noodle Markets (March 2-11).
Canberra Balloon Spectacular
March 10 – 18
Lawns of Old Parliament House
What’s a birthday party without balloons? Wake up to the view of over 30 balloons, hot air balloons that is, floating across the city during the Canberra Balloon Spectacular. This mesmerising view is best appreciated from the lawns of Old Parliament House where you can see pilots inflate their crafts and take flight.
Avoid the unwanted crumbs and coffee stains from a birthday breakfast in bed and indulge in a delicious hot breakfast with a view instead. Dutch pancakes, Peruvian breakfast burritos, sweet and savoury crepes and traditional English breakfasts on the menu. Coffee will be brewing for those who need a caffeine hit.
The Canberra Balloon Spectacular is weather dependent so be sure to check enlightencanberra.com/balloons and Enlighten’s Facebook at 6:15am each morning to see if the weather will allow the balloons to take flight.
Symphony in the Park
7pm, March 11
Stage 88, Commonwealth Park
We can’t imagine a birthday celebration without music so we’ve organised a starlit concert featuring the stars. Sit back and relax as the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by The Killer Queen Experience, bring the work of music royalty, Queen, to life.
2pm – 7pm, March 12
Stage 88, Commonwealth Park
The stunning, tree-lined landscape of Commonwealth Park provides the perfect backdrop for Canberra Day celebrations. Enjoy the thrill of amusement park rides or indulge in a tasty treat from local traders. Snap a cute photo after visiting the face painting station or laugh along with the Lah Lah’s Big Live Band. Later in the afternoon see multi-platinum Brisbane sibling super-group Sheppard who will headline the Canberra Day concert. Former Triple J unearthed winner Ali Barter, Nicole Millar from Peking Duk fame and Canberra’s own The Voice finalist Lucy Sugerman will also take to the stage.
Remember to share your Canberra Birthday experiences using #EnlightenCanberra so we can share in the birthday joy.