As Floriade, Australia’s premier celebration of spring, returns from 17th September to 16th October, over one million flowers are set to bloom in Canberra’s Commonwealth Park for the event’s biggest year yet.
Developed in 1988 as one off floral tribute to mark Australia’s Bicentenary and Canberra’s 75th anniversary, Floriade is now an iconic event in the ACT calendar. Aside from celebrating spring, Floriade will be doing things differently in 2016. Boasting the most impressive schedule to date, the event will prove it’s much more than just a flower show, and there really is something for everyone to enjoy.
For the green thumbs
For the first time ever, Floriade will be the flower festival that moved. In addition to designed feature gardens onsite, more than 100 species of tulips are currently growing offsite in 192 portable boxes. In September, these boxes will be transferred to Commonwealth Park and put together like a giant puzzle, setting the stunning backdrop for the month-long event. Floriade welcomes a number of new tulip varieties plus mixed annuals to complement the floral footprint. Aside from the magnificent florals and sculptures on display, the festival will also host workshops and masterclasses with industry leaders.
For the night owls
From 28th September to 2nd October, NightFest will illuminate Commonwealth Park, as the after-dark extravaganza showcases spectacular lighting designs, premium food and wine experiences, live music and entertainment, including a performance from internationally renowned comedian, Jimeoin. For those who like to sit down with a cold drink and just take it all in, The Spritzer Garden will be open for three Saturdays out of five, featuring chilled music, comfy and cool furniture and a beverage on arrival.
For the foodies
When it comes to tantalising tastebuds, Floriade welcomes some of the country’s biggest names and best flavours. Over various dates, presented by SHAPE magazine, My Kitchen Rules’ Scott Gooding will host classes and, from 15th to 16th October, talented patissier and host of new reality show Just Desserts Adriano Zumbo, will be serving up floral macarons and chocolates, specifically created for Floriade. Rounding out the edible offerings, local producers, products for sample and mouthwatering paddock to plate cooking demonstrations will feature as part of the Makers Market – yet another fresh addition to the already spectacular event.
For the little ones
To ensure the little ones are entertained, the Kids’ Corner will boast a plethora of activities including DIY flower workshops, visits from Reptile Inc, an obstacle course and interactive play zones where kids can play at their own pace. Making Floriade the perfect family getaway, additional mini-events and activities will be held on weekends and public holidays.
For the pooches
On 15th October, Floriade will welcome all furry four-legged friends for Dog’s Day Out – celebrating man’s BFF, in all shapes and sizes. For one Saturday only, Commonwealth Park will become a puppy mecca as people are invited to bring their pooches and help raise funds for charity partner Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.
For the adventurous
For those who want even more, Floriade invites you do poses amongst the posies, with yoga classes added to the schedule every Thursday and Sunday. Finally, for the social media gurus, budding photographers and pros, Floriade will be hosting photography workshops so you can learn how to capture any stunning arrangement – but be sure to share the magic via #floriade2016 and #lifeinbloom.