LIGHTS AND DELIGHTS

It’s shaping up to be a busy weekend with lots of great things to see and do, plus more great events to plan for in the coming weeks!

A NIGHT OF LIGHTS AND ARTS
White Night Ballarat was a big hit in 2017 and it’s back this Saturday, returning to the streets and laneways with colourful projections and amazing installations, music and interactive works. Saturday 17 March 7pm – 2am. https://whitenight.com.au/ballarat/

 

ARTISTS AND MAKERS ON THE GOLDEN PLAINS
Every year in March the Golden Plains Shire celebrates its artists and makers, with a wide range of open studios and exhibitions. North trail: March 17 & 18. South Trail: March 24 & 25. www.artstrail.com.au/

REGIONAL FOOD, STORIES AND MUSIC
Regional centres have teamed up with the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival with events ranging from Bendigo’s brash A Promise of Barmen: Tales of Liquid Friendship through to the classy Bendigo Blues Tram and Underground Banquet, or Castlemaine’s Ales on Rails. Get in quick. 16 – 25 March. www.melbournefoodandwine.com.au

HARMONY IN BALLARAT
Harmony Fest is back, promoting the theme All of Us in a celebration of rich cultural diversity, with 43 unique events over 10 days. Starting Friday 16 March with Chinese music in the afternoon in the library, followed by a twilight market at the Ballarat Welcome Centre with delicious food and the Sweet Mona’s Choir, and so much more in the coming days. www.ballarat.vic.gov.au/

HANGING ROCK MAKERS MARKET
Hanging Rock Makers Market is back this weekend with a great selection of gifts, plants, homewares, fashion, jewellery, photography and art, and of course delicious baked goods and plenty of lunch options. Your half price entry fee of $5 includes the National Park, giving you the opportunity to take in the beautiful surroundings. Saturday 17 March 9am to 2pm. www.craftmarkets.com.au/markets

CLASSY CLOTHING WITH A DIFFERENCE
To see creativity and invention in clothing, head over to the Ag Art Wear display in Bendigo, featuring imaginative garments made entirely from agricultural materials from the Elmore Agricultural Field Days. Closes 29 April. www.bendigotourism.com

AN ANNIVERSARY IN TALBOT
The Talbot Farmers Market celebrates its 14th anniversary Sunday 18 March. Get in early and find yourself some fantastic fresh produce! Buy a raffle ticket to win your own wheelbarrow full of goodies from the market stallholders. The following Saturday The Talbot Provedore and Eatery celebrates with a 7-course degustation menu. www.facebook.com/TalbotFarmersMarket

FIND TIME FOR ART
This weekend is your last chance for two years to see artists in the Mount Alexander Shire opening their doors. A biennial event, 2018 is the 4th Arts Open, with over 90 professional artists and craftspeople showing their work. March 17 – 18. www.artsopen.com.au/

Here’s a few for your diary:

BEER, CIDER, FOOD & MUSIC
Spend a day in the sun at the Bendigo Craft Beer & Cider Festival, sampling over 100 beers and ciders and eating from a range of great food. Kick back on some hay and enjoy the live performances. 24 March. http://bendigocraftbeerfestival.com.au

A FESTIVAL WITH A VENUE
2018 marks the 24th annual iconic Anderson’s Mill Festival in Smeaton, held at the historic 5-storey bluestone mill. The festival is a celebration of local foods, wine and music, and also features art and craft stalls, blacksmithing demonstrations, wood turning and pony rides. 25 March. http://www.andersonsmillfest.org.au/

FOLK MUSIC ALL AROUND
The Festival of Small Halls is a wonderful offshoot of the Port Fairy and Canberra-based folk festivals, bringing big acts to small towns. Venues include the Scrub Hill Church in Newlyn, located between Ballarat and Daylesford, on Wednesday 28 March, and Tylden Public Hall, in the Macedon Ranges, on Saturday 7 April. https://festivalofsmallhalls.com/

FOOD AHEAD
It may seem like May is months away, but tickets for Ballarat’s new food event, Plate Up Ballarat, are already selling fast. Check out the massive selection of events and workshops taking place throughout the month of May. www.plateupballarat.com.au/events

MARKETS THIS WEEKEND
There’s plenty of markets on this weekend, so it’s a good time to head out and make some great finds! Be on the lookout for fresh produce, food and all sorts of great items for the home or for friends.

Saturday
Creswick Market
Wesley Hill Market, Castlemaine
Trentham Farmers Market
Smythesdale Country Market
Riddells Creek Farmers Market
Sunday
Talbot Farmers Market
Daylesford Market
Woodend Village Market

Mica Grange