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Ballarat National Events

As the third-largest inland city in Australia, Ballarat is a cultural and historical hub of Victoria. With its rich heritage, it's no surprise that the city hosts numerous nationally and globally recognized annual events. Whether you're a local or visiting for the first time, there is something for everyone to enjoy in and around Ballarat.

One of the most significant events on the cultural calendar is the Ballarat Begonia Festival. This three-day festival celebrates the beauty of begonias, with over 6,000 plants showcased in displays and exhibits. Visitors can enjoy free garden tours, workshops, live music, food and market stalls, and a parade featuring stunning floats and costumes.

Another highly anticipated event is the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, which showcases the world's most talented photographers in various exhibitions and installations throughout the city. The Biennale features over 100 artists from Australia and beyond, with diverse genres and styles of photography. It's an excellent opportunity to appreciate art while exploring the city's stunning architecture and natural landscapes.

For those interested in history, the Victorian Goldrush is an essential period to explore. The Goldrush brought a surge of settlers to the Ballarat region in the mid-1800s, transforming the landscape and shaping its unique character. To commemorate this era, the city hosts the Ballarat Heritage Weekend each May, featuring a range of engaging activities such as guided tours of historic buildings, vintage vehicle displays, and re-enactments of historical events.

Ballarat is also home to the longest-running and largest regional sporting event in Australia - the Stawell Gift. Held annually on Easter Monday at the Central Park Athletics Precinct, the Stawell Gift attracts elite athletes and amateur runners alike who compete in a handicap sprint race. Spectators can cheer on the athletes while enjoying side attractions such as carnival rides, food stalls, and live music.

Other notable events in Ballarat include the Ballarat Beer Festival, which showcases the best craft beer and cider from local breweries; the Royal South Street Eisteddfod, a competitive performing arts festival featuring music, dance, and drama; and the Ballarat Show, which offers a range of entertainment from livestock displays to funfair rides, circus acts, and fireworks.

Ballarat is a city that values its history, culture, and diversity. These annual events are a testament to the city's vibrant identity, providing year-round entertainment for residents and visitors alike. Whether you're a nature lover, art enthusiast, or history buff, there is always something new to discover and appreciate in Ballarat.

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