The dim and little-used Haig Park will transform this Saturday (24 August) into a celebration of the blossom season with live music, light installations and local food and drink stalls.
Featuring a diverse program from afternoon to evening, Canberra’s “forest in the city” will come to life with multiple stages presenting live music and performances, storytelling sessions, interactive activities, light installations, local food and drink to celebrate the transition from winter into spring.
Festival of the Forest will showcase local Canberra talent across three different stages, with Canberra’s own Chris Endrey, the Latin reggae of Los Chavos and the rock-and-roll of The King Hits lighting up the main stage.
DJs will get the crowd bopping on the Fringe Stage while local poets and performers will lead participants in story and song on a third stage.
Local food and drinks will be available for festival-goers including Braddon favourite Blackheart and Sparrows, BentSpoke, Tikka Stand, What the Pho, and Haig Park champion Mandalay Bus.
Festival of the Forest is part of the Haig Park Experiments, the City Renewal Authority’s six-month $1 million project to realise the potential of the inner-city green space.
Haig Park Experiments program manager Adelaide Rief said the festival was all about highlighting the city centre’s beautiful and unique culture, both in programming and location.
“The project’s popular dog agility equipment will be set up for furry friends to enjoy, as well as a host of play and arts activities designed for kids and families, such as DIY craft making,” Ms Rief said.
“Fires and heaters will keep eventgoers warm while roving performers will keep them entertained with a mix of song, dance, comedy and magic. As the sun sets, a stunning light installation will illuminate the trees, transforming Haig Park with colour, texture and movement.”
City Renewal Authority chief executive Malcolm Snow said the festival was another event organised with the intent of changing public perception of the park.
“Since June this year, the City Renewal Authority has been running a number of experiments in Haig Park, from short-term activations through to light-touch improvements to breathe new life into what is currently an underused space,” Mr Snow said.
“These experiments put into action the conversation we have been having with the community about changing the perception of the park, with the results of these experiments informing us about longer-term improvements for the whole community to enjoy.”