Enlighten Festival is back for 2021! Held over 17 days, from 26 February to 14 March, the city will come alive with a range of free and ticketed events.
Things are a little different this year, and registration is required at most events. Here’s what’s on, what you need to register for, and how to attend each event.
ActewAGL powers the Enlighten Festival by officially switching on the illuminations at 8:00pm on Friday 26 February. Be in the Parliamentary Triangle to see Enlighten come to life!
There’s something quite breathtaking about standing in the Parliamentary Triangle on a dark autumn night in Canberra, and watching it suddenly burst with a kaleidoscope of colour, light and laughter. During the Enlighten Illuminations, many of Canberra’s iconic National Attractions will come alive each night, from 26 February to 8 March at 8pm, with stunning projections and displays. Dotted through the Parliamentary Triangle, you’ll also find intriguing and original installations created by Australian artists.
Take in the magnificence of a light and bright Parliament House, then journey to the Australian Museum of Democracy at Old Parliament House to absorb our capital’s history. Be astounded by the National Gallery of Australia and soak in the beauty of the National Portrait Gallery. Let Questacon: The National Science and Technology Centre, mesmerise you before making your way to the National Library of Australia to be, well, quite breathless.
How to attend – this event does not require registration, but we strongly encourage all attendees to download and use the Check In CBR app to register their attendance. Please also abide by social distancing regulations and stay home if you are unwell.
Ditch your usual dinner plans and make a beeline for Enlighten Alley. Indulge in local street food and enjoy making memories with family-fun activities and entertainment, before exploring the architectural projects and illuminated installations around the Parliamentary Triangle. Perfect for all ages, there is something for the whole family to enjoy!
Enlighten Fans rejoice! The BentSpoke Beer Garden is returning in 2021. With a range of local, award winning beer and cider options available, delight your senses and pair your beverage with a cracking array of street food.
While you are there, make sure you meet a local celebrity, the little can that can – AND DID! BentSpoke’s Crankshaft (American IPA) quite rightfully took out first place, in the Great Australian Beer Spectacular’s Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers list of 2020. The BentSpoke team have also outdone themselves again developing an exclusive beer to commemorate Skywhale’s new partner in crime – Skywhalepapa.
Did we mention there will also be a kids area and live music? So, shall we see you in the garden?
Popcorn? Check. Choc-top? Check. Blanket for optimal snuggle and comfort? Check. This year, competition meets creativity at Lights! Canberra! Action! for one night only on 5 March. Each year, this event ignites something within all of us. Whether you’re an amateur film buff, regular movie goer or lover of vegging out and catching a quality flick, you’ll be taken by this impressive line-up.
The evening will celebrate many of Canberra’s talented filmmakers with twelve finalists’ sharing their creations, which explore the theme of ‘hope’, at Stage 88 in Commonwealth Park.
Set your alarms nice and early to experience a local favourite – the Canberra Balloon Spectacular. Rise and shine to see colourful balloons from around the world float across the city at dawn from 6 to 14 March.
While spectators on the ground are treated to an experience of the senses, for a truly unforgettable moment, get tickets to be among the lucky passengers who experience the thrill of hot air ballooning over the national capital during the Canberra Balloon Spectacular.
Registration is required to watch the balloons inflate and launch from Patrick White Lawns. If you have missed out on registering, don’t fret, the mesmerising view of a colourful sky can be experienced from many vantage points around Canberra.
Canberrans are extremely fortunate to have their very own Symphony Orchestra. Symphony in the Park is a musical extravaganza, combining a few of our favourite things: curated music, electric atmosphere, delectable treats, and crisp beverages.
Back by popular demand, the Canberra Symphony Orchestra will once again be taking to the stage with BABBA, to perform ABBA’s greatest hits. Framed by the landscape of the iconic Commonwealth Park, the Canberra Symphony Orchestra will fill the air with music on 7 March. Pack a picnic blanket or chairs, enjoy a bite to eat from the food trucks on-site and prepare for a night of nostalgia and great tunes.
Happy Birthday CBR! To think, you’re 108 and still lookin’ great. *gun fingers* *readers cringe*. Make the most of the public holiday by kicking it off with a special new event Breakfast at Balloons where Skywhale and Skywhalepapa will make an appearance.
Pop on a party hat and join in the Canberra Day festivities that celebrate the businesses, attractions and community that make Canberra a wonderful place to live, work, and play. Stay on to savour the closing night of Enlighten Illuminations.
How to attend – you must register to attend the Breakfast at Balloons at John Dunmore Lang Place. Registrations will open soon.