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Five ways to celebrate Canberra Day

Amanda Whitley

It’s Canberra’s birthday, and it’s set to be big! To help you make the most of it, we’ve got five top things for you to tick off your list. Join the party!

1. Get up early for the Canberra Balloon Spectacular

There’s something magical about rising before the sun, watching balloons inflate in the crisp Autumn morning, and then rising above national institutions.


Once they’re up and away, there’s more fun in watching them drift away and catching glimpses of them as they continue their journey across the Canberra sky. The Canberra Balloon Spectacular is simply one of the best times of the year.

Grab breakky onsite from one of the vendors, or gather your friends and head down to one of the local cafes to continue the celebrations.

2. Taste the region

Our very favourite foodie event, The Forage, is giving Canberra Day a fresh taste, with loads of local vendors ready to feed the masses at Patrick White Lawns in front of the National Library of Australia.



There’ll be the Peruvian delights of Mr Papa, American-style street food from the New York Minute, and loads of sweet treats from Nookie, Babic Biscuiteers, Sweet Bones, Gelato Joe’s and more! Not to mention special Canberra-inspired cocktails from Hopscotch and beers from BentSpoke. See the full line up here.

3. Be entertained!

Canberra Day has a new look, a new location and an exciting Canberra-centric program headlined by Australian electronic act SAFIA. The Canberra Day entertainment will kick off at 20pm with Captain Barnacle and his team of Octonauts. Kids can also meet local sporting heroes.


But there’s plenty to keep the big kids happy, too. Canberra band SAFIA will headline the Canberra Day line-up, with local house music producer DJ Magnifik featuring Chanel Cole, Kayo Marbilus and Cris Clucas appearing on the bill alongside fellow Canberra stars Slow Turismo, and street artists Houl and Goodie.

4. Join the party!

If you’re into carnival rides, there’s a Giant slide, Cup and Saucer ride, Flying Chairs, Jumping castle and Laughing Clowns.


There are also lots of free amusements and activities, including: Stick Up Wall, Jump ‘n’ Slide, Worm, Combo Castle inflatables; Canberran face painting; Canberra Craft and Picnic Games (2:30pm-5:30pm only).

5. Get involved

Canberra arts festival You Are Here will be hosting a number of activities at the Canberra Day celebrations, including a Canberra Day Confessional; and a Women of Canberra online photographic documentary project that sets out to produce a series of powerful photographs showcasing the diversity of women in Canberra accompanied by snippets of their stories.


If you love to move, there are plenty of options – the ‘Ten Minute Dance Party’, You Are Here’s micro-nightclub, encourages you to go from 0 to 100, because there ain’t no time for a warm-up; while No Lights No Lycra Southside will stage RAVE CBR at a secret location to be revealed on the morning of the event.

What’s on and where


Getting there

Parking will be in demand – for information about getting to and from Canberra Day on Action Buses please visit: Take Action to Canberra Day Celebrations.


Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author