Warming winter fest fun revealed

June 14, 2024 BY

Cool and cosy: The Ballarat Winter Festival will feature a range of events led by local organisations and businesses. Photo: MIRIAM LITWIN

GET your coats and scarves ready, it’s nearly time for Ballarat Winter Festival.

Beginning on Saturday 29 June and running until Sunday 21 July, there will be a range of events and activities on offer to warm people of all ages throughout the cold month.

Head to Sovereign Hill for their 10th annual Winter Wonderlights display, try a spot of ice-skating at Armstrong Street south or head to the Design Exchange Market.

Foodies can sink their teeth into a fresh pasta-making masterclass at Carboni’s Italian Kitchen, distill their own gin at Kilderkin, or head to the Red Series Ballarat at the Mining Exchange.

For the first time, the Obsidian Dark Bar Festival will be on, celebrating independent brewers across the state.

Festival Director Tom Madden said it was exciting to be part of the broader festival.

“There’s a bit of history to dark beer in winter and the colder months,” he said. Off the back of harvest, brewers back in the olden days would brew the dark beers as they would last through the colder months.

“We are super excited and grateful for the support of the City and the broader Winter Fest team.

“We think that having the Obsidian Dark Bar Festival as part of the program is going to be a great asset not only to ourselves but also to the program.”

City of Ballarat mayor, Cr Des Hudson said the festival is about seizing the day in the colder months.

“We are now looking forward to celebrating winter in Ballarat which is all about getting out and embracing the cold and participating in a whole range of different events and activities that will keep Ballarat alive,” he said.

“Really encouraging people to come and stay for a while in Ballarat, bring your family and bring the kids out and really just embrace winter in Ballarat.”

Wine showcase event, the Red Series, will return to the Mining Exchange. Photo: FILE

This year will celebrate a decade of the ice-skating rink and the community can get tickets to the attraction at a discounted price.

Collect a discount code from any Ballarat-run hospitality or tourism business after spending $25 or more and receive 15 per cent off the purchase of tickets.

“It will be the 10th anniversary of the ice-skating in Ballarat which is a great landmark,” said Cr Hudson.

“Cost of living pressures as always at the moment is something that is really making a difference for families.

“This is an initiative that we are trying to ease a little bit of that pain because we know the kids will be saying, ‘can we go?'”

The festival is expected to generate about $1.5 million of economic activity.

“It is another significant boost to our local venues and operators,” said Cr Hudson.

To see the full program, visit the Ballarat Winter Festival website.