Canberra’s skies will be filled with dozens of floating hot air balloons each morning between Saturday 7 March and Sunday 15 March. Balloons inflate on the lawns of Old Parliament House from 6.15am, with breakfast available until 10am.
Canberra Day festivities (Monday 9 March)
This year’s Canberra Day festivities feature a new look, a new location (the Patrick White Lawns in front of the National Library) and performances by local acts including SAFIA.
- Family-friendly entertainment kicks off at 2pm with Captain Barnacle and his team of octonauts.
- Live music includes: SAFIA and DJ Magnifik featuring Chanel Cole, Kayo Marbilus and Cris Clucas.
- No Lights No Lycra South Canberra is holding a secret glowstick rave at the official Canberra Day celebrations from 4.30pm to 5.30pm. The organisers recommend bringing “your party pants and glow sticks, cos it’s gonna get crazy”. The location hasn’t yet been announced, but it’s somewhere near the Patrick White Lawns. Stick around afterwards to catch SAFIA’s performance too.
- Unwind and get ready for the weekend, as former pianist at the Lakeside Rydges top floor piano bar Michael the Piano Man entertains patrons at Polit Bar tonight from 6pm.
- Transit Bar hosts the next heat of its Battle of the Bands competition on Friday night from 8pm, featuring Bruges, Endtranzmission, Azim, Zain and Duck Duck Ghost. Entry is free.
- Catch the second instalment of the Bane Trilogy at the National Library on Friday and Saturday at 9pm. One man, with no set and no props, tells the story of tough guy Bruce Bane, with a live guitar soundtrack. This multi-award winning show has been delighting audiences around the world since 2009.
- For the real night owls, Kris Baha (Power Station) will deliver a monster five-hour set at Transit Bar on Saturday from 8pm, supported by Shaolin, Calico Cat and Kangaroo Lifesavers. Entry is free.
- Lil Jon performs at Academy on Saturday at 7pm.
- After several away games the Brumbies come home to Canberra to take on the Western Force at GIO on Friday night. Tickets from Ticketek.
- Dig out that fascinator for the Seppelt Black Opal Stakes on Sunday at Thoroughbred Park. Keep the party going afterwards at Duxton with live music, $5 tacos and $5 beer, wine and cider.
Performing arts, dance and culture
- A little piece of Hollywood will hit Canberra on Friday night when this year’s top 12 films from Lights! Canberra! Action! are screened at the Senate Rose Garden at Old Parliament House. Entertainment from 7pm, films from 8pm. Bring a picnic dinner or buy from the vendors and enjoy films about Canberra under the stars.
- Meet and hear from romance fans, authors and publishers at the Romance Readers Convention at QT Canberra on both Saturday and Sunday from 9am-5pm.
- Head to the Patrick White Lawns on Sunday from 7.30pm as Canberra pays tribute to the Centenary of Anzac with a special one-off concert featuring performances by the combined bands of the Australian Defence Force and the Canberra Symphony Orchestra.
- Local tattooed women will compete for the title of Miss Ink Canberra 2015 and Miss Tattoo Canberra 2015 on Sunday evening at The Basement. Tickets are available at the door.
Food and wine
- The Durham Castle Arms and Plonk bottle shop in Fyshwick this weekend host one of Australia’s largest cider festivals. The free festival is aimed at increasing the profile of cider in the ACT and introducing Canberrans to a range of ciders never before seen in the capital.
- Learn to cook the Paleo Way with My Kitchen Rules’ Pete Evans, Luke Hines and local paleo bloggers The Merrymaker Sisters on Saturday morning from 10am to 4pm at EPIC. You’ll discover how to cook on a budget, make bone broths, prepare family food and start fermenting.
- Muddle Puddle’s Made With Love Market is on Saturday from 9am to 1pm at the Weston Creek community centre. These markets have a strong focus on local, handmade and unique goods for babies and children.
- Celebrate Autumn and raise funds for beyondblue by visiting Yarralumla Nursery’s Garden Releaf Weekend. Running from 2pm to 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday, activities will include seedling planting for kids, plant sales and a seminar by Canberra Urban Honey on the role of bees as pollinators in sustainable cities. Blueberry muffins from Peter of cafe D’lish will also be available to purchase.
Happy (almost) Friday! What are your plans?