Hale March 18 Masthead

What’s happening this Canberra Day

Molly McLaughlin

Happy Canberra Day! 

No matter your age, there’s something happening today to pique your interest.


Families will enjoy entertainment from ABC Kids superstars Lah Lah’s Big Live Band, ACT Fire & Rescue Tanker will be onsite from 2 pm to 4 pm to entertain and educate future firefighters big and small (and we hear that Elsa from Frozen might be popping by to say hello).

There will be face painting and balloon animals, AFL ACT will be testing who can set the best pace, and the brave at heart can even get up close with reptiles.

As for those looking to spend their day lounging on the grass indulging in street food (just me?) you’ll have your choice of some of Canberra’s best with 2 Smoking Barrels, Kransky Brothers, Killa Fries, Spiral Spuds and Chur Burger. Got a sweet tooth? Indulge in a scoop or two from Pure Gelato or a decadent dessert from De Wafel.

To keep you going, Kombean Coffee will be serving up the goods, and to quench your thirst local purveyors of beer and cider (and recent number three in the national Hottest 100 craft beer poll!) Bentspoke Brewing Co will have a pop-up public bar at the venue.

To keep you entertained as you enjoy your picnic, on the main stage you’ll find a killer line-up of all-Aussie entertainment, kicking off from early afternoon and continuing into the evening.

The full line up:

  • 2pm – Lah Lah’s Big Live Band
  • 3pm – Lucy Sugerman
  • 4pm – Ali Barter
  • 5pm – Nicole Millar
  • 6pm – Sheppard

This schedule packs a punch. With hits including Geronimo which went platinum in 21 countries, the multi-award-winning Brisbane sibling super-group Sheppard is hot off the back of two huge 2017 tours—a main support slot with Justin Bieber on his Australian tour, and a UK run with Little Mix.

Supporting Sheppard will be Nicole Millar, singer-songwriter and former Triple J Unearthed winner, Ali Barter, and Canberra’s very own Lucy Sugerman—former Voice Australia finalist.

If your entourage is less lounge and more ‘pent-up energy’, little and big people alike can enjoy the range of old school amusement rides, including: the Supa Cha, Flying Chairs, Inflatable Castle, Laughing Clowns, Giant Slide and Cups and Saucers. Tickets for these rides range from $5-6 and unlimited ride wristbands can be purchased for $25 per person.

Find more information here.

AFLW: Giants vs Western Bulldogs

While not strictly Canberra Day-related, the fact that Round 6 of the NAB AFL Women’s Competition is headed to Canberra on 1o March is cause for celebration. Entry to Canberra Oval in Griffith is free, and as well as a great game of footy between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and Melbourne’s Western Bulldogs, there will be plenty of activities including a fitness challenge, inflatables, face painting and meeting the Giants mascots GMAN and Gigi.

Gates open 5:30 pm and the game starts 7:10 pm, more information here.

Festival Muse

Festival Muse will be taking place over the entire Canberra Day long weekend, and on Monday there are two events that will get you thinking. Up first, MP Andrew Leigh will bring his podcast The Good Life to Muse for a live interview with palliative care expert Dr Liz Forbat (tickets $15). Next, feminist writer Clementine Ford will discuss whats next for the #MeToo movement at the Street Theatre from 4:30 pm, (tickets $30).

Check it out here.

Canberra Balloon Spectacular

The skies above Canberra will be filled with balloons of all shapes and sizes during the Balloon Spectacular from 10 to 18 March, providing an amazing sight for spectators. From 6:15 am each day, the balloons will be taking off from the lawns of Old Parliament House. American-made balloon Kermie the Frog is making his debut appearance in Australia, and Jewel the Hummingbird, one of the most complex balloon shapes ever built, is making a return.

A hot breakfast will be available for purchase from the Belconnen Lions Club for hungry spectators, and The Advocates will be performing live on Canberra Day.

Make sure to check Facebook or local radio beforehand as balloon flights are dependent on weather conditions.

More information here or read our editorial here.


As with every night until 18 March, the Enlighten Festival 2018 is lighting up our city.

From live music, performances, late-night openings, roving performers, jellyfish and more, there’s so much happening.

Unfortunately the projections finished last night (11 March), however, there’s still heaps to see and do!

Click here for more information.


Check out This Week In The Can, our weekly roundup of events in Canberra.


Molly McLaughlin

Molly McLaughlin is new to Canberra and is attempting to prove to her friends that the capital city can be cool. This mostly involves frequently going out for brunch and then posting about it on social media, along with trekking up hills and around art galleries. She is half way through her uni degree but spends most of her time reading, writing and planning her next adventure. More about the Author

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