There’s something a bit magical about this historic regional town in the dark, cold months, and this is exactly what the Ballarat Winter Festival seeks to capture with their annual event in July, transforming the town into a magical winter wonderland with a unique array of events and activities to beat the winter blues, warm the soul and satisfy the belly.
Unfortunately due to the global pandemic, we won’t be celebrating the winter festival or the famed Christmas in July event at Sovereign Hill, the Ballarat Winter Festival will live on virtually, highlighting all the best elements of Ballarat in Winter through an online platform, allowing you to plan your trip from the comfort of your home (in your warmest pyjamas) before you head outdoors and explore Ballarat this Winter.
Visitors will be able to explore the city of Ballarat (virtually), play online games at Ballarat’s major attractions, download Ballarat-themed activities and dive into all the winter-specific incentives from local businesses, designed to encourage a trip to the stunning regional city.
To guide families and friends through the activities are the Yarrowees – four magical creature with the power to bring warmth and comfort to even the coldest toes in winter. There are four of these characters who have an enormous smile, a heart of gold, and their own special kind of winter magic.
There’s Bunni, who can stomp his giant feet so hard that he creates a sparkling warmth that flows from beneath to warm the earth and defrost the ice on the driveways, roads and foot paths; and there’s Kurran, who ensures children are tucked up in their bed with an extra blanket or two to keep them toasty all night. The third is Welcome Wally who rubs his hands together and blows gently into his palm to brings a warm orange glow into homes, and lastly there’s Betul Begonia who makes sure that pantries are always stocked with winter goodies that warm stomachs and feed minds.
Alongside the virtual experience, The City of Ballarat has also partnered with the popular tourist attractions within Ballarat’s Virtual Winter Fest with the aim of encourage visitors to explore the re-opened attractions these school holidays.
Ballarat Mayor, Cr Ben Taylor says it’s the perfect re-introduction to winter in Ballarat with Council and local operators collaborating to ensure everyone has the opportunity to experience Ballarat.
“We are so looking forward to visitors returning, in restricted numbers, to our tourist attractions, accommodation providers and local businesses these school holidays, but for those families who can’t make it to Ballarat this year, there’s a little bit of magic and fun to be found online,” he said.
That’s not all though. There’s also the chance to win one of two Ultimate Ballarat Escapes, valued at $1,000 each, via the website during the festival.
The Ballarat Winter Festival aims to attract visitors to Ballarat in what has traditionally been a low yield period, to make Ballarat a ‘must visit’ winter destination in line with the Ballarat Event Strategy 2018 – 2028.
The virtual event kicks off on June 27 and runs until July 19. Visit www.ballaratwinterfestival.com.au