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Celebrate our city's rich history at the Ballarat Heritage Festival

Festivals

The award-winning Ballarat Heritage Festival returns this 19-28 May.

Full program details have been released at ballaratheritagefestival.com.au, with the annual event set to put the city’s rich heritage, unique stories and vibrant creative community front-and-centre.

The ten-day program highlights Ballarat’s golden past as well as its evolving future with something for everyone. Check out the highlights below!

Candlelight Concert at Ballarat Civic Hall

Candlelight Concerts

For the first time in Ballarat experience some of the greatest pieces of film music in a candlelit Ballarat Civic Hall. Under the gentle glow of thousands of candles, the orchestra will captivate you with scores from Hans Zimmer, John Williamson and more.

When: Friday 26
Time: From 7.30pm
Where: Ballarat Civic Hall
Tickets: $25 – $64 available to book from ballaratheritagefestival.com.au

See makers in action at Craft Lab 23

Craft Lab 23

Now in its third year, Craft Lab is a celebration of traditional artisanal skills coupled with a contemporary flair. Over four days, 17 carefully selected practitioners from across the Ballarat region will share their knowledge and techniques, showcasing some of the best crafts and design items produced locally.

From upholsterers to spinners, shoemakers to armoury makers, wild weavers to eco-dyers, visitors can get up close to see, touch and feel the different crafts from the practitioners themselves. There will also be opportunities for visitors to take part in talks, demonstrations and workshops where they can have a go at their own crafts with the support and guidance from experts.

When: Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 May | Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 May
Time: 10am to 5pm
Where: Ballarat Mining Exchange
Tickets: Free entry with workshops and other experiences bookable online

The Great Takeaway. Image: Bowie Wallace

The Great Takeaway

The Great Takeaway is a chance for visitors to dine amongst some of the finest materials, textiles, glassware and ceramics produced in the Ballarat region – and then be able to take the handcrafted materials home with them.

A ticketed event, the Great Takeaway is an exclusively tailored dinner for up to 60 guests who will be seated in the exhibition display of Craft Lab in the heritage venue of the Mining Exchange to enjoy a three-course meal with drinks and entertainment.

When: Thursday 25 May
Where: Ballarat Mining Exchange
Time: 6:30pm – 10.00pm
Tickets: $275 available to book from ballaratheritagefestival.com.au

Ballarat Antique Fair

Make your way to one of Ballarat’s classic art deco buildings to pick-up one-off heirlooms, period pieces and collector’s items. Browse more than 26 antique dealers selling a variety of beautiful, delicate and interesting pieces – from jewellery to furniture; artwork to ceramics; silverware to linen, and objet d’art.

When: Friday 19 to Sunday 21 May
Time: Friday 19, 4pm – 8pm / Saturday 20, 10am – 5pm / Sunday 21, 10am – 4pm
Where: Ballarat Civic Hall
Tickets: $10-$15

Fashion and fun with the Ballarat Tweed Ride

Ballarat Tweed Ride

Ballarat’s iconic Tweed Ride returns! Take a unique ride through Ballarat’s historic and picturesque autumn streets in high style. A casual event of fashion, cycling and fun, riders dress in vintage and heritage-inspired outfits wearing tweeds, velvets, capes and kilts. With all types of bikes welcome, keep an eye out for some of the quirkiest cycle styles.

When: Saturday 20 May
Time: 10am to 12pm
Where: Departs from Pipers by the Lake, Lake Wendouree
Tickets: $10

Old Gaol Tours

Uncover the complex criminal history of Ballarat’s former Gaol and its dark inmates through storytelling, ancient artefacts, old blueprints and striking photos. Explore the grounds that held notorious criminals and discover the original Gaol’s tunnels and turrets through a not-to-be-missed virtual reality experience.

When: Friday 19 to Sunday 21 May
Time: 9:00am – 5:30pm
Where: Federation University SMB Campus (site of the former Ballarat Gaol)
Tickets: Tickets are free, but bookings are essential

Content warning: Some of the material discussed pertains to incidents of violence, which may be distressing for some participants.

The Ballarat Heritage Festival program will also feature a number of special food and drink experiences show-stopping performances and insightful workshops and demonstrations. The full Festival program is available online now at ballaratheritagefestival.com.au.

Heritage Harvest Weekend at Sovereign Hill

Heritage Harvest Weekend at Sovereign Hill

Heritage Harvest Weekend is a full foodie take-over and will see producers, and makers transform Sovereign Hill into a food-lovers feast with markets, masterclasses, tastings and kids activities.

The weekend is a celebration of the autumn harvest, growing seasonal food in abundance and preserving it through age-old practices brought to Australia from around the world.

For full program details head to ballaratheritagefestival.com.au.

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13 Apr 2023

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Across Victoria’s Midwest, we acknowledge that we travel across the ancient landscapes of many First Peoples communities.

These lands have been nurtured and cared for over tens of thousands of years and we respect the work of Traditional Custodians for their ongoing care and protection.

We recognise the past injustices against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in this country. As our knowledge grows, we hope that we can learn from their resilience and creativity that has guided them for over 60,000 years.

As we invite people to visit and explore Victoria’s Midwest, we ask that alongside us, you also grow to respect the stories, living culture and connection to Country of the Ancestors and Elders of our First Peoples.

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© 2023 Ballarat In The Know. This initiative is funded by the City of Ballarat and Tourism Midwest Victoria.