28 December 2021

Showtime, baby! Canberra Fair is coming in 2022 and it’ll be a runway for local businesses

| John Coleman
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People sitting on lawn at festival event

The inaugural Canberra Fair is happening at Thoroughbred Park in Lyneham in February 2022. Photo: Canberra Fair.

With the 2021 edition of Floriade reduced to sidewalk bulbs in the suburbs, and the cancellation of the 2022 National Multicultural Festival, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s going to be an uneventful summer in Canberra.

But there is some good news.

Despite being cancelled multiple times during COVID-19, the Canberra Wedding Fair is returning in February 2022 in an even bigger format: Canberra Fair.

The wedding show component remains, but Canberra Fair is now pitching itself as a general community event, with aspirations to become one of the festive highlights on the Canberra social calendar.

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To be held at Thoroughbred Park in Lyneham on 6 February, 2022, Canberra Fair will be jampacked with local food, music and fashion, with a veritable market square of small and great local businesses.

Canberra Fair event manager Danielle Cleary admits it’s been a struggle to get the plan for this large-scale fair off the ground.

“We’ve had to cancel a couple of times through COVID-19, and that’s when I did the rebrand, just before COVID-19 hit,” she says. “It’s been a bit of a hard slog.”

Danielle says she is thankful to local partners who share her vision for the event.

Group of women having picnic on lawn

Canberra Fair will celebrate everything from events to food, and small business. Photo: Danielle Cleary.

Whether you’re a crafter of goat’s milk soaps or a local accountancy firm, businesses are invited to register as an exhibitor at Canberra Fair.

There will be a dedicated Take Flight Market, which aims to give small startup businesses in Canberra exposure, and the Take Flight Competition, where a startup can earn a fully styled stand at Canberra Fair with branded marketing material.

Cuisine traders will be set up in the Food Fair section – which is coupled with shade from trees and live music – and will offer everything from burgers to cheeses, and jams to other take-home produce.

Entertainment will be plentiful on the day, with helicopter and hot air balloon joyrides, as well as aerial performances, dancing and live music.

Model in green dress on fashion runway

The Canberra Fair fashion parade will showcase Canberra-based boutique designs. Photo: Images Instantly.

However, Canberra Fair’s crowning glory will be its Fashion Parade, a runway event held at 11:30 am and 1:30 pm featuring catwalk models wearing a mix of Canberra-based boutique designs and the latest looks from established Australian brands such as MJ Bale.

At previous Canberra Wedding Fairs, this parade focused on wedding gowns and suits, but as a reflection of the event’s new broader focus, it will show off local looks across many styles.

“We’ll move into evening and cocktail style gowns and dresses into daywear, lifestyle, travel resort wear,” says Danielle.

“I’m hoping to have an activewear line we can promote at the end.

Woman applying makeup to lady in chair at Arbonne event

Arbonne exhibit at Canberra Fair. Photo: Supplied.

“It’s running to what the fair is about – it is weddings, it is events, it is travel and it is lifestyle. I really wanted to reflect that in the runway with that whole realm of fashion for any occasion.”

However, the Bridal Show will still be back in all its glory, showcasing the latest styles in wedding dresses, concepts for weddings, and hens’ nights, as well as local musicians, wedding photographers, cakemakers, stylists and planners.

“Canberra Fair is still the ultimate destination if you’re planning a wedding,” says Danielle. “It’s just now going to be a whole lot more.”

Canberra Fair will be at Thoroughbred Park on Sunday, 6 February, 2022, from 10 am to 3 pm.

If you’re a local or regional business interested in registering to exhibit, visit Canberra Fair.

Tickets for Canberra Fair are now available, with free general entry or a $27.50 VIP pass, which includes seats and champagne at the Fashion Parade.


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