BALLARAT is known for its teeth-chattering winters, but certainly at leastfor the coming month, it will also be known as the place to be.
The city’s second-ever Winterlude festival kicks off this weekend, with more than 50 warming events scheduled in for the next four weeks.
Ice skating rink launches in Ballarat. Check out the time-lapse!Here are our top picks:
Australia’s biggest-ever light projection
Sovereign Hill’s Winter Wonderlights event will be a stunning highlight of Winterlude, withthe largest light projection spectacle ever staged in the one site in Australia.
City of Ballarat’s pop-up ice skating rink
Fear of getting a soggy behind shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the joys of gliding across the ice. Remember to pre-book here.
Get plump and jolly with the city’s best pies
There are some seriously gourmet pies being entered into this year’s Pie and Pale competition. You’ll need to try them all, of course, just to make sure.
Knights of Fire at Kryal Castle
“Blazing saddles” just took on a whole new meaning. Check out these brave knights and triumphant beasts as they scale fire pits from hell.
Into art? How about neon, moving, intangible graffiti-art made of light particles? Ballarat’s laneways will come to life with the talents of some of the city’s coolest creators.
With all that outdoor fun, you’ll need to warm up. With wine, of course.
Hot Chocolate Walking Tours
Find out more about Ballarat’s history and some of the amazing people who have graced the halls of Craig’s Royal Hotel. And finish up with a piping hot choccie.
Winterlude’s flagship attraction, the pop-up ice skating rink in Armstrong Street South, is now fully erected, with its sparkling surface and phasing coloured lights creating an icy atmosphere begging to be experienced.
City of Ballarat gave a fitting launch to the skating rink on Friday, inviting professional figure skater and Victorian Novice Champion Lucette Horsfield to officially break the ice–metaphorically speaking, of course.
Miss Horsfield, 15, said she had been skating since she was five years old and had spent the past six years perfecting her supersonic spins.
The Woodend figure skater, who has wonEuropean titles, saidoutside of Australia, her favourite place to skate was in Poland.
Giving Miss Horsfield a run for her money at the rink’s launch was City of Ballarat mayor himself, Des Hudson.
Cr Hudson, along with fellow councillorGlen Crompton, dashed across the ice with surprising levels of grace.
Cr Hudson said the council was expecting between 80 and 100 skaters during each session.
“Last year the sessions were all really well supported. We had a greater attendance than we expected,” he said.
“This year it’s a slightly bigger rink because of last year’s popularity.
“It’s about celebrating winter in Ballarat. Sometimes people from other cities ridicule us for our weather, but this is about embracing the winter.”
Cr Hudson said the council was happy to slightly subsidise the rink because of the enjoyment it brought to the community.
Sovereign Hill’s Christmas in July and Winter Wonderlights programs also launch Saturday.
Other highlights during Winterlude include Saturday’s Seriously Shiraz festival, flaming horse jumps and jousting at Kryal Castle, the Laneways Live and Local and Ballarat Laneways Lumiere events, and the Pie and Pale competition–the contest to find Ballarat’s best pie.
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