There’s no town quite like Ballarat, and the annual Heritage Weekend is back again to prove it. The final weekend of May is dedicated to celebrating the town’s unique landscapes, street-scape and history. Held in the heart of the CBD, the weekend will highlight the mysterious side of Ballarat’s past, focusing particularly on the 1950s. Around every corner there will be notable speakers, heritage experts, live music, magic, mystery, beards, books, beers and vintage and fun. We’ve highlighted some of the events from the action packed, albeit mysterious weekend.
In honour of the fabulous fifties, Charlotte Smith will showcase vintage 50’s fashion at the Mining Exchange. The elegant Darnell collection will be displayed on the catwalk by local models featuring flirty, romantic and feminine short and long gowns and stunning accessories. Furthermore, join guests Jacinta Tynan and Tara Moss in conversation as they discuss the importance and the empowerment of fashion as well as their journey to stardom.
Séance & Murder
Delving into Ballarat’s mysterious past; visitors can board The Begonia Princess paddle-boat for a mystery tour of Lake Wendouree and hear the sad stories of some intriguing drownings, deaths and murders that occurred in the murky waters of the famous lake. If ‘bodies in the lake’ isn’t your thing, there is an opportunity to participate in a traditional Victorian séance. Head down into Craig’s Royal Hotel to watch a medium attempt to contact the dead and raise the spirit of the one and only Ned Kelly. This one’s not for the faint-hearted…
Ballarat is saturated in Australian history, making it a perfect opportunity to spend an evening exploring the dark and paranormal side of the town’s early days. This Ballarat Ghost Tour will take you many underground buildings, back alleys, and through the remains of the old Ballarat Gaol, where there was the second highest number of executions in Victoria.
A Mystery Trail
There is also the opportunity to get involved in the action yourself at the Heritage Weekend. You can pick up a detective booklet from the Mining Exchange and explore some of the town’s incredible heritage buildings. Solve puzzles in each location to narrow down the list of suspects to find out who stole the statuette. Perfect for uncovering the Sherlock Holmes in all of you.
This is one of first opportunities to go behind the scenes of The Doctor Blake Mysteries. A brand new coach tour will take you to many of the filming locations with chances to take plenty of photos. Alongside some Ballarat history there will also be commentary on classic episodes of the hit ABC TV series.
A bit of Burlesque
If dark and mysterious isn’t for you, then there is still plenty of light-hearted entertainment over the weekend. ‘Diamonds are forever’ is a naughty and funny burlesque show about undercover agents and double-crossing dames.
And of course, a Beards & ‘Stache Competition
Back by popular demand is Ballarat’s Best Beard & Stach Comp. Held at Hot Temple with special guests The Nelson Twins (Australia’s Got Talent), there will be four categories, including People’s Choice Awards and plenty of prizes up for grabs. Register your beard now!
This event has something for everyone, with a range of food, drink and market stalls. Come along and enjoy the fun.
When & Where: Various locations, Ballarat – May 27 & 28
For the full program run down or to book events head to www.heritageweekend.com.au
Written by Chelsea King