Saturday, 8 March 2014

Ballarat Begonia Festival

The Internet says that the Begonia Festival started in 1953 but I'm sure I've seen old footage of floats and local businesses decorated with paper begonias pre World War Two. 
Anyway the Begonia Festival is run by Ballarat City and local groups such as The Friends of the Gardens. There is a big display of begonias in the green house as well as flower beds throughout the gardens over flowing with color. 
It occurs over the Labour Day long weekend and includes a parade and special event such as a big quilt show, an antique show and book fair. It is a busy time around Ballarat at the moment. A few weekends ago there was a huge swap meet out at the airport and the Rockabilly Festival was held in downtown Ballarat. ( refer to a previous post) It was busy around Lake Wendouree today with 30 000 visitors expected over 3 days. 
I can remember when we first came to Ballarat about 25 years ago it was a big deal. The centre piece was the floral carpet, painstakingly put together over weeks, even months by volunteers. I remember a fantastic Alice in Wonderland picture made up of real and paper flowers which looked sensational. Nowadays people just don't seem to have the time to participate in voluntary community events.

Today I visited the book fair. there were a few good books and lots of sad old books that would be better off turned into compost. I picked up a few interesting books for work. A first edition Riddle of the Trumpalars ,( Amazingly the unit plan I've developed for this book is my best seller) a copy of The Babysitters Club #1 (Yeah I know but they were a really big deal, along with Goosebumps books when I first started teaching. How could I not buy it for $1.00) I also bought a little book of fables.(one very abridged fable per page with a matching black and white illustration.
(refer image below)

We went to the Apex Club Art Show (photo below) and we saw some fantastic art work.

I also wandered over the road (between the trams - refer photo) and took photos of the flowers ( not the begonias! the line was too long. I'll pop in next week and take a photo or two.) it is great to see them re-cycle the Christmas reindeer floral display and I liked the hanging flowers in the fish pond.
 ( they should leave them there permanently) Tomorrow is a public holiday for Labour Day 

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