The flowers have started blooming, the volunteers are getting ready and the fences at Commonwealth Park are up as preparations get into full swing for the start of Floriade on September 15.
This year’s 30-day festival promises to take visitors on a trip down memory lane through the theme of Pop Culture.
Icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson will come to life in flower form alongside the likes of Grug and Where’s Wally.
Among the other new features of this year’s flower festival will be more local food offerings, Jazz in the Park on Sunday afternoons and a different theme for every night of NightFest.
“Our aim is to deliver an unforgettable experience for all the right reasons,” said Group Marketing Manager for VisitCanberra and Events ACT, Helena Cataldo.
“We are hoping not only to increase in crowd numbers but also in their enjoyment of the event.
“This year we’ve gone with a lot more local food offerings. Particularly exciting is the fact that Contentious Character is coming on board as Floriade’s first wine sponsor,” Ms Cataldo said.
“Underground Spirits are also providing a gin bar which will be open throughout NightFest.”
This year’s 31st Floriade will run until October 14 and once again include more than a million planted bulbs and annuals.
NightFest, Floriade’s ticketed after-dark experience will run for five nights, from Wednesday, September 26 until Sunday, September 30.
Ms Cataldo said the first night will see Stage 88 transformed into an open-air cinema, with the ‘80s versions of Ghostbusters and Back to the Future to be shown.
The Thursday and Friday nights of NightFest will be all about musical talent, while on Saturday night the ‘80s will again come into play at ‘Party NightFest’.
“We’re hoping people will dress up and don the double-denim [jeans and jeans jacket] and come out for the night,” Ms Cataldo said.
“Sunday night we’re bringing back Comedy NightFest and will use Stage 88 for the comedians.”
Other features of this year’s Floriade will include workshops for aspiring green thumbs at ‘The Greenhouse’ interactive venue, a free KidzKlub throughout the school holidays, and the popular Dogs’ Day Out on the final day (October 14) which this year has a superhero dress up Pop Culture theme.
Ms Cataldo is encouraging dog owners to start thinking now about costumes for their pooches.
“Personally, I would love to see your Batmans, your Supermans, Wonderwomen and the Avengers. I think they’d make a stunning photo,” Ms Cataldo said.
For further information about this year’s Floriade, visit www.floriadeaustralia.com. Anyone still wanting to volunteer can also still sign up at https://floriadeaustralia.com/get-involved/volunteers/