Huge crowds for the iconic Ballarat Begonia Festival

Generic image of aerial peformers SWAY at Begonia Festival

The Labour Day long weekend, headlined by the 71st Ballarat Begonia Festival saw an attendance of more than 65,000 across three sunny Autumn days.  

The Monday was the busiest day of the event, with 23,000 attending to enjoy the final day of the festival and see the colour and excitement of the Power FM Begonia Parade. 

There was a healthy line up at the Robert Clark Conservatory to see the magnificent begonias all weekend, with more than 10,000 people wandering through the House of a Thousand Begonias.  

The Green House Ballarat Stage had 28 performances and presentations across the weekend with more than 6,000 people enjoying the entertainment.  

Aerial performers SWAY, performed their spectacle Bloom! eight times over the weekend, with large crowds stopping to look up and enjoy the show.  

Festival goers took home almost 7,000 begonias to care for.  

Over the three days attendees enjoyed 1,200 toasties and 5,000 curly spuds with a range of other delights from 23 different food vendors.  

The weather helped families enjoy almost 8,000 scoops of ice cream from three vendors.  

Almost 300 kilograms of coffee grounds were collected from the vendors, equating to 15,000 coffees from four vans. The coffee grounds are kept out of landfill and will be repurposed as compost.  

Children were entertained with many activities, with 4,500 paper begonias being created at the Art Gallery stall and 1,000 children participating in the Perfit obstacle course each day.  

City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson said when speaking with attendees he found a large number were visitors to Ballarat.  

“The festival really had something for everyone, from craft activities for the kids, to food and drink options for the bigger kids and great entertainment all weekend,” he said.  

If you missed the thousand begonias last weekend, the display will be open at the Robert Clark Conservatory until the end of March.  

The Conservatory is open every day 9am to 4.30pm and entry is free.