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For many Canberrans, spring just wouldn’t be spring without Floriade.
For over 30 years the iconic flower festival has been a celebration of the new season, signalling the onset of warmer weather, budding flowers and swooping magpies.
And while this year’s event will look markedly different given the restrictions still in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Floriade will continue to bloom in 2020 under a reimagined format.
Running from 12 September to 11 October, Floriade: Reimagined will move from its usual home in Commonwealth Park to appear in the form of a Tulip Trail, which will see the distribution of one million bulbs and annuals creating a colourful trail throughout Canberra.
Organisers say it has been a community effort to produce this year’s event, with nearly 90 community groups assisting the Floriade horticulture team in planting and maintaining the bulbs and annuals so they are ready to bloom in spring.
“This year’s festival allows the community to enjoy spring blooms every day while at their local shops, getting their morning coffee or during their daily commute while public health restrictions are in place,” says Events ACT acting Executive Branch Manager Ross Triffitt.
“Floriade is integral to the identity of Canberra and fosters connectedness and pride within the community. In 2020, Floriade: Reimagined is ensuring the hope, vibrancy and joy of Floriade continues.”
So where to start exploring? Floriade organisers have put together this handy trail guide, depending on your interests.
Whether you do your trail with friends, family or solo, it’s the perfect chance to celebrate everything spring has to offer while supporting our community and local businesses when it’s most needed.
For the foodies
With plenty of blooms located near local shops and eateries, brunch can now be served with a side of springtime joy.
Possible locations to visit include Downer shops, Yarralumla Shops, Torrens Shops, Scullin Shops, Kippax Shops, Pearce Shops, Swinger Hills Shops, Lyons Shops, Kingston Shops, Woden Shops, Mawson Shops, Hackett Shops, Farrer Shops, Calwell Shops, Dickson Shops, Manuka Shops.
Some eateries also have small displays including Wamboin’s Contentious Character and Pialligo Estate.
For the intellects
Many national attractions have been growing plantings outside their walls while guests learn and grow inside their walls.
Some locations to visit include Cockington Green, Lanyon Homestead, National Gallery of Australia, National Portrait Gallery, Royal Australian Mint, Parliament House and the Australian War Memorial.
For the art lovers
The Floriade team has integrated well-known local artworks into two of the floral displays, with planting being completed around the base of the Belconnen Owl and Kambah Sheep sculptures. Other locations include the National Gallery of Australia and National Portrait Gallery.
For the fitness enthusiasts
Spring blooms are dotted along the bridge-to-bridge walk, making it the perfect place to get active while enjoying Floriade.
Locations with pops of colour to look out for include near Blundell’s Cottage, Rond Terrace, the Captain Cook Memorial Jet, the National Carillion and more.
For the health heroes or those visiting loved ones
2020’s festival not only marks flowers blooming to life after their winter hibernation but also celebrates the community spirit and resilience that Canberrans have displayed during challenging times.
Locations include Calvary Public Hospital, Calvary Private Hospital, John James Hospital, The Canberra Hospital and Clare Holland House.
What: Floriade: Reimagined
When: 12 September – 11 October 2020
Where: Various locations around Canberra. See an interactive map of the Tulip Trail at floriadeaustralia.com/map
How much: Free
Remember, it is everyone’s responsibility to follow the health advice and do what we can to ensure we keep ourselves and the community safe.
All Floriade fans are asked to avoid large crowds, keep 1.5m apart whenever possible, maintain good hand and respiratory hygiene, stay home if unwell and get tested if any COVID-19 symptoms are experienced.
Feature image: VisitCanberra