Ballarat’s much-loved Begonia Festival returns this year with its most popular family activities and a new focus.
As plastic pollution continues to be one of the world’s biggest environmental concerns, the City of Ballarat is hoping festival visitors will be inspired to change their behaviour towards plastic waste reduction.
The 2019 festival program, which includes the return of crowd favourites like the Super Sandpit, Pot-A-Plant activity, markets and live entertainment, also features a number of exciting new offerings that look set to take your festival experience to new heights.
One of the this year’s festival highlights includes a five-metre Giant Turtle, presented by the festival’s Community Partner Central Highlands Water (CHW), who invites all festival visitors to join the crusade to reduce single-use plastic bottles.
The giant turtle’s shell will be filled with single-use plastic bottles – A visual representation of the burden felt by the environment due to plastic waste.
CHW is encouraging everyone to come down and place a single-use plastic bottle into the turtle’s shell, making the pledge to reduce plastic bottle waste by using refillable bottles instead.
After the festival, the giant turtle will be transformed into play equipment for public use as a constant reminder of the importance of caring for our environmental future.
Grampians Central West Waste Resource Recovery Group has also jumped onboard with their Litter Super Heroes out in force over the long weekend helping you put your rubbish in the right bin.
Or why not pop over to the Little Green Wagon to hear from GCWWRR about sustainability and waste issues through the ‘Plastic not so Fantastic’ campaign to reduce our reliance on single use plastic.
The concept of reusing waste and shining the light on sustainability is also a focus for the Ballarat Tramway Museum who has this year re-imagined the Floral Tram.
The Ballarat Tramway Museum has taken inspiration from the 1939 Floral Tram, which was originally decorated by hundreds of crepe paper flowers, by creating 21st century flowers using single-use plastic bags and bottles.
This nod to the past has already generated plenty of buzz in the community, with the tram due to be unveiled for the first time later this month.
Each year more than 60,000 people wander the Ballarat Botanical Gardens over the Labour Day long weekend and discover a multitude of fun family activities, enjoyable live entertainment, delicious local food and beautiful floral displays as part of the annual festival.
Central Highlands Water General Manager of Customer and Community, Jacqueline O’Neill said, “Central Highlands Water is once again very proud to feature as the Community Partner of the 2019 Ballarat Begonia Festival.
This has been a very successful partnership with the City of Ballarat and we are delighted to be involved in this award-winning festival.
This year, the CHW site will invite visitors to join our crusade to reduce single-use plastic bottles. To demonstrate the sheer amount of waste single-use plastic bottles create, come and visit our Giant Turtle structure set-up on the main lawn throughout the Ballarat Begonia Festival. Everyone can help save our turtle!
Our popular “Be Smart Choose Tap’ drink bottles will be available at the Festival. Last year was a sell-out with over 3,000 bottles sold raising over $15,000. Central Highlands Water is proud to announce that this year, all proceeds will be going to a local charity “WRISC”- ‘victims of family violence’.”