Home News Community unites for 2018 Begonia Parade

Community unites for 2018 Begonia Parade

Ready for the 2018 Begonia Parade: In costume are Ian Warwick, Lorraine Sheppard, Cr Samantha McIntosh Mayor of Ballarat and Betty Warwick.

ENVISION Employment will this year join the many local community organisations who will take part in the 2018 Power FM Begonia Parade.

The local not-for-profit organisation has been a part of the Ballarat community for the past 18-months, providing support to disadvantage jobseekers. More recently they have opened their first up-cycle op shop in Ballarat.

The team at Envision Employment will use their upcycling skills to create a gypsy house which will feature at this year’s Parade.

Envision Employment will be joined by the Ballarat Region Indonesian Community, Project Dance, Sovereign Hill and Dance 2 The Beat in this year’s Parade.

Each year more than 10,000 people watch the growing number of local businesses, schools and community groups who unite to celebrate Ballarat’s diversity and community spirit during the popular Begonia Parade.

One of few community parades still running, the Begonia Parade is iconic and a highlight of the Ballarat Begonia Festival.

In 2018, the parade will begin at 11am on the final day of the Ballarat Begonia Festival – Monday 12 March. This year’s parade will travel along Wendouree Parade between the South Gardens and North Gardens.

This year’s Parade, sponsored by Power FM, will also be broadcast live.

The 2018 awards will be presented in the following categories: Mayor’s Choice Award, Best Schools Entry, Best Community Entry, Best Business Entry, Best Musical Entry.

Registrations to participate in this year’s festival are still open to schools, which will have until 1 February to apply.

A history of the Ballarat Begonia Festival The Ballarat Begonia Festival is one of Australia’s oldest and most popular community events.

The festival was launched in the autumn of 1953 by local Ballarat residents who were keen to highlight and celebrate the growing postwar prosperity of their town and the local region.

The inaugural Ballarat Begonia Festival was opened by Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies and was an 11-day program of events that included archery demonstrations, square dancing and floral displays.

A young Queen Elizabeth attended the festival in 1954 to admire the floral displays, and the Queen Mother visited a few years later.

Over the decades the festival has included just about everything from car rallies, to sheep dog trials and talent quests. The prestigious Begonia Queen competition ran until the 1990’s and was broadcast live on TV.

Highlights of the 2018 Ballarat Begonia Festival include: • Celebrity gardener Costa Georgiadis presents a program of talks on plants • Get Grubby TV presents DIRTGIRL and Costa the Garden Gnome • Learn to grown water efficient gardens with Central Highlands Water • Rebecca Sullivan presents The Art of The Natural Home • Le Petite Grande Comedy Tent • Ballarat Brewers and Distillers Garden • Mitchell Harris Wine Garden • Live music • Super Sandpit • Garden gnome trail competition • Obstacle challenge • Begonia Display • Garden and creative designers market • Free vintage tram rides The 2018 Ballarat Begonia Festival is free and will be held at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens between 10-12 March 2018. For more information visit ballaratbegoniafestival.com/parade or follow @ BallaratBegoniaFestival on Facebook