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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Floriade opens with a ‘pop’

Canberra’s famous flower festival flung open its gates to the public on Saturday 15 September, marking what many ACT residents would consider to be the unofficial arrival of spring.

With warm, dry temperatures, Floriade’s opening weekend did not disappoint.

Floriade’s Executive Producer Vickii Cotter said the opening weekend had been “really well attended”, with a great amount of people – particularly families – making their way through the floral displays.

“It’s been really well attended; we don’t have the official number yet but it was a great weekend.

“It was a really beautiful weekend”.

Floriade head gardener Andrew Forster and his team planted one million bulbs and annuals for the month-long flower festival, to the theme of ‘pop culture’. Photo: Kerrie Brewer.

Ms Cotter said historically the festival has seen around 400,000 visitors attend over the month-long period, and they are hoping to achieve that number again this year.

“If we keep having this amazing weather, people will come out,” she said.

“It’s just so nice to see everybody sitting down and just enjoying the spaces.

The food has proved popular with the crowds so far, provided by Pialligo Estate in the main pavilion, and local providers in the surrounding tents, including donuts that “inspire a lap of the park” after eating.

“There’s a whole array of food that you are able to eat and indulge in.”

Despite the many other activities on offer, Ms Cotter said the flowers are still the main attraction.

“The garden beds are the hero with the icons of pop culture, with Where’s Wally, Ken Done, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Grug and Superhero Alley,” Ms Cotter said.

“I saw someone dressed up as Marilyn Monroe yesterday and it was so exciting.”

The Floriade team are now preparing for the busiest period of the festival, the ACT school holidays and the commencement of NightFest on Wednesday 26 September.

“School holidays is going to be fantastic; those two last weeks of Floriade are going to be amazing, all the flowers will be in full bloom as well,” Ms Cotter said.

Tickets are selling fast for NightFest, the event program with different entertainment each night proving popular.

“It’s got that whole different feel when you come to the park at night,” Ms Cotter said.

Floriade runs until Sunday 14 October at Commonwealth Park, Canberra.

For more information, visit floriadeaustralia.com

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