Seven things to do around Canberra this weekend (13–15 April)

Zoe Pleasants 12 April 2018
Australia's biggest rainbow

The ACT Government is hosting a free community party at the National Arboretum this Saturday to celebrate the same-sex marriage postal survey ‘yes vote’. It will feature Australia’s biggest rainbow painted on the grassy Events Terrace.

There is a diverse selection of events on in Canberra this weekend. The Australian Running Festival will be up and running early Saturday and Sunday mornings, while the Loaded Laneway Festival will be pumping late into Friday and Saturday nights. The Heritage Festival is back on for another year. You can search for your own Mr Darcy at the Jane Austin Festival. On Saturday morning the ACT government is throwing a free party at the Arboretum to thank Canberrans for their response to the same-sex marriage survey, and then in the afternoon, AFL footy will kick off at Manuka Oval. And for something completely different, finish your weekend with a visit to the ACT Permaculture Festival at Canberra City Farm on Sunday.

All weekend

Australian Running Festival

Where: King George Terrace
When: Saturday & Sunday
The Australian Running Festival is on this weekend with 10 km and 5 km events on Saturday morning, and ultramarathon, marathon and half marathon events on Sunday morning. Register here. Pick-up your bib from Rebel in Woden on Friday, 9 am – 6 pm or from the Festival Village on Saturday (for the Sunday events only). This year, to reduce the number of single-use ups used at the Festival, organisers are asking participants to bring their own water bottle and use reusable cups in the start/finish area. There will still be disposable cups along the route if needed. The Festival Village will feature live music with Jack Biilmann playing on Saturday and Russell Vincent on Sunday. There will also be entertainment for the kids provided by the Gecko Gang, a massage tent, coffee and food, and a live screening of the Commonwealth Games.

Canberra and Region Heritage Festival

Where: Various venues
When: 14 – 29 April
The Heritage Festival starts this weekend and runs for 16 days with a program packed full of events for the inner history buff in each of us. The theme of this year’s event is My Culture, My Story and it investigates what makes a place special. The festival celebrates the Aboriginal, European and natural heritage of Canberra. Events on this weekend include the Jane Austen Festival at Albert Hall, Marg Wade’s Canberra Secrets Heritage Tour, an Open Day at Lanyon Homestead this Saturday, tours around Parliament House, family activities at Mugga Mugga, and a workshop with Valerie Albrecht about how to write your own story. Check the full program of events here.

Loaded Laneway

Where: Verity Lane, Sydney Building
When: From 6 pm Friday & Saturday
This weekend Verity Lane behind the Sydney Building will be loaded up with food, drinks, music and fun. The Loaded Laneway festival will be taking over with music inspired by the 80s and 90s pumping on Friday night and electronic, disco and house music on Saturday night. This is an over 18 event, tickets are $30 for a single night, $50 for both nights and $70 for VIP entry on either night. VIP entry provides you with priority entry to the Treehouse Bar and Reload Bar & Games, and access to the Maple Bar where you’ll receive a drink on arrival and a chance to mingle with the performers. Book tickets here.


Rainbow Party at the National Arboretum

Where: National Arboretum
When: 10:30 am – 2 pm
Canberra recorded the highest yes vote and highest participation rate of any state or territory in the recent same-sex marriage postal survey. To celebrate the ACT Government is hosting a free community party at the National Arboretum this Saturday. It will feature Australia’s biggest rainbow painted on the grassy Events Terrace, rainbow kites filling the sky — bring your own or buy one on site, a live DJ, free face painting, and gourmet food and drinks. As part of this event, the National Arboretum and Ginger Catering are offering one lucky couple a Wedding Ceremony Package at the Arboretum’s iconic Margaret Whitlam Pavilion valued at $1,100. Anyone who can legally marry can enter the competition! Just tell the Arboretum, in 25 words or less, why you want to get married at the Arboretum. Entries close midnight 12 April and the winning couple will be announced on Saturday during the party.

AFL—Giants vs Fremantle

Where: Manuka Oval
When: From 1:45 pm
The Greater Western Sydney Giants take on Fremantle at the Manuka Oval this Saturday afternoon. Tickets from $23, book here.

Slow Art Day

Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: 2 – 4 pm
Slow Art Day is a global event with a simple mission — to get more people to discover the joy of looking at art. To mark this day, the Portrait Gallery is inviting you to join a group taking a long look at selected portraits in its collection and share your thoughts about the portraits with the group afterwards. No cost, but register your interest here.


ACT Permaculture Festival

Where: Canberra City Farm, 2 Dairy Road, Fyshwick
When: 10 am – 4 pm
Head down to Canberra’s City Farm this Sunday for the ACT Permaculture Festival. There will be information stalls promoting permaculture and other sustainable practices; workshops about poultry nutrition, cheesemaking, backyard aquaponics, homemade skincare products and much more; cooking and other demonstrations; locally produced food; music; and plenty of activities for the kids. Check out the program here. Costa Georgiadis from Gardening Australia will be there, and so will the Formidable Vegetable Sound System playing their ecological electro-swing music, and David Holmgren who will be launching his latest book, RetroSuburbia.

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