Page 10 - The Outdoor Showman January - March 2022
P. 10

Commencing in 1871, the Bendigo
Easter Fair is one of Australia’s longest running community events, which will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2022. The fair was originally a fundraising event for the Bendigo Hospital and Benevolent Asylum (now the Anne Caudle Centre).
At the time the fair was started,
Bendigo was still known as the
Borough of Sandhurst.
On New Year’s night in 1871, several members of local community groups met at the Shamrock Hotel, where the owner of the hotel, William Heffernan suggested organising a fair based
on the Donnybrook Fair of Dublin
and offered 10 pounds to kick off
the fundraising. Just a few months
later, the first ever event was held.
The Easter Festival was initially known
as The Easter Fair, The Sandhurst
Easter Fair,or The Grand Easter Fair,
but by 1880 it was being referred to as the Bendigo Easter Fair. To mark the anniversary, the 2022 event will be known as the 150th Bendigo Easter Fair. Originally, the Easter Fair was held
at the lower end of Pall Mall around
the current site of the Conservatory Gardens and lower Rosalind Park,
later moving to the Old Show Ground (now the Tom Flood Sports Centre). Although the amount of money raised each year varied dramatically, in its
first 21 years it raised £23,000
for the Hospital and Asylum. This equates to roughly $3 million.
The current day festival is based
around Bendigo’s beautiful Rosalind Park and surrounding streets,
which is transformed into a vibrant precinct bursting with family –friendly entertainment. With live music and performances, hands-on activities, carnival rides, live music, roving performers and fireworks there
is sure to be something for every member of the family to enjoy over
the four-day Easter long weekend.
To celebrate the 150th anniversary, this year it will run over four days instead of three, with lots of special commemorative activities planned.
Bendigo Advertiser Gala Parade Monday April 18, 12.30pm
Parade route: View St, Pall Mall, McCrae St, Chapel St, Bridge St Experience a festival tradition filled with colour and excitement. Watch bands, cultural groups, dance troupes, sporting clubs school groups and many more as they perform along the parade route.
The world’s longest Imperial
Dragon, Dai Gum Loong, will weave his way through Bendigo’s streets
– an event not to be missed! Sherridon Homes Torchlight Procession and Fireworks
Sunday April 17, 7pm
Parade route: View St, Pall Mall, McCrae St, Chapel St, Bridge St
This unique procession lights up Bendigo’s streetscapes magnificently. Featuring illuminated entries
from local emergency services, community groups and the Bendigo Chinese Association. To conclude,
a dynamic fireworks display will
erupt over Rosalind Park.
Vision Australia Easter Egg Hunt Good Friday, April 15
10am – 5pm in Rosalind Park
Over two days, join in the exciting search for over 85,000 Easter eggs. Tickets available from Friday March 4. For times and ticket details, contact the Bendigo Visitor Centre on 1800 813 153 or visit Rotary Market
Friday April 15 and Monday April 18, 9am – 4pm, Easter Fair Way
(Bridge St) and Park Rd
Take a wander through this expansive
market, browsing through a range of arts and craft, handmade goodies,
unique treasures, collectables, tasty produce and much more. Over
the two days there will be more than 200 stalls complemented
by music and delicious BBQs.
Carnival Central
Friday April 15 to Sunday April 17,
10am – 11pm Monday April 18,
10am – 6pm Mundy St, Bendigo
To enjoy the excitement of the
carnival atmosphere, head to
Carnival Central on Mundy Street. Delight in the thrill of the rides and
try your luck along sideshow alley. Zhùfú A Tribute to Bendigo Easter Fair Saturday April 16, 2pm
The Bendigo Chinese Association
pays tribute to their longstanding relationships with the Bendigo Easter Fair Society and Bendigo Health. Watch the revered dragon Sun Loong with
his attendant regalia emerge from the Golden Dragon Museum, parade to the Tom Flood Sports Centre to perform. Awakening Of The Dragon
Sunday April 17, 2pm – 4pm
A traditional celebration of lion and dragon dance, presented by the Bendigo Chinese Association and visiting lion and dragon teams. It will conclude with the lighting of a spectacular string of 100,000 firecrackers used to wake Dai Gum Loong from his year-long slumber. 150th Anniversary Celebrations – Presented Bendigo Easter Fair Society To mark the 150th anniversary,
the Bendigo Easter Fair Society
will be presenting a range of
extra events, including:
Wadaiko Rindo Japanese Drummers Friday April 10, 11am, 1pm and 3pm Poppet Head, Rosalind Park
Wadaiko Rindo are renowned for their energetic and dynamic drumming performances. A spectacular visual display of stamina, strength and humour, with the vibrations produced on stage energising the whole audience.

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