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Mayor’s Message

It’s time once again to celebrate our heritage with the 2021 Ballarat Heritage Festival.

In this year’s festival, the City of Ballarat is breathing new life and intrigue into our celebration of heritage with an expanded festival program and extended dates.

From heritage beer school and instagrammable public art installations to craft demonstrations and progressive lunches, this year’s extended 24-day program sees the return of festival favourites as well as a range of new and exciting initiatives to discover – all COVID-safe.

Enjoy a self-guided augmented reality walk at your own pace and take a glimpse at Ballarat through the eyes of those who came before. Follow the trail with your phone in hand to uncover scenes from Ballarat’s past.

Admire makers at work and learn how these skilful creatives are continuing the tradition of rare trades unique to the region as we embrace Ballarat’s status as a UNESCO City of Crafts and Folk Art. View weaving demonstrations, belt and bag making, wood carving, possum skin cloak making, eel trap weaving and jewellery making.

This year our city’s love for our heritage will be on show through an extensive program of events and other offerings. Stories of our history will be told through new immersive technologies, hands-on experiences, demonstrations and community programs.

We’ve lived through an incredibly difficult time in our recent history, so I invite you to look back on our shared past to experience and learn from the lessons of yesteryear. By looking to our heritage, we can discover

and draw from our unique strength and resilience.

The City of Ballarat is proud to present the 2021 Ballarat Heritage Festival. I encourage you to dust off your tweed, oil up your retro bikes, sign up for the very entertaining Beard & Stache Competition or take a ride on a heritage steam locomotive. It’s a wonderful opportunity for all of us to embrace past innovations and take lessons from the past to help create a better collective future.

City of Ballarat Mayor
Cr Daniel Moloney

History of the Ballarat’s Heritage Event  

Ballarat Heritage Weekend has ran since 2006 hosted by the City of Ballarat. The event is a community cultural festival held annually in Ballarat as a major tourist attraction. The festival celebrates the city’s history drawing on Ballarat’s reputation as a historic Australian city. There is a range of FREE, FREE ticketed and ticketed events.

The event has traditionally taken place on a weekend in May for two (2) days each year in Ballarat’s CBD. Over the years the event has include public access to selected historical buildings, vintage transport, including visits to the historic Ballarat railway station by Steamrail Victoria locomotives (Y112), vintage bus rides, double decker buses, vintage car displays, horse and cart and use of Ballarat’s preserved vintage tramway at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens; actors in period garb; architecture and history walking tours; and exhibits of private and public paraphernalia collections; theatrical performance; and trade displays for heritage organisations. The Ballarat Mining Exchange is regularly used as an exhibition space.

Click the link to view the event program. 

  • 2006 – First festival was held in May.
  • 2010 – Event featured swimsuits and accessories by Louis Vuitton.
  • 2011 – An exhibit of Ballarat inventor Henry Sutton was shown.
  • 2012 –  “Childhood Memories” themed
  • 2013 – Program included an exhibit featuring cars used in the filming of The Doctor Blake Mysteries, a 1960s themed dance event, historic mayoral portraits, and a private collection of retro games.
  • 2015
  • 2016 – ‘Ignite Your Curiosity’ themed – Think steampunk and steam trains, quirky stories from the past, frivolous fashion, and speakeasy style.
  • 2017 – “Unravel the Mystery, Discover The History” themed
  • 2018 – “100 Years of Technology & Innovation” themed
  • 2019 – “Our City, Our Stories” themed
  • 2020 – History at home Series – seen a virtual weekend was held on grounds of COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 2021 – Ballarat Heritage Festival has been created

Historical reference links

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