Lake Wendouree full of colour for the Begonia Parade 

CREATIVE and colourful floats and displays were shown off at The Courier Begonia Parade this morning.

More than 50 community groups made their way around Wendouree Parade, with thousands of onlookers lining the streets take in the sights and sounds of this year's event. 

Ballarat East Community Men's Shed, winner of the community float award, had a display featuring fairytale classic The Three Little Pigs. The float showcased small houses of straw, sticks and bricks with relatives of the Men's Shed members dressed as characters from the story. 

President Doug Jenkins said it was the third year the Men's Shed entered the float in the parade, with modifications each year.

"It was a three-year plan, so now we'll make a new one for next year."

Mr Jenkins said the group was currently in a brainstorming phase and could not disclose ideas. 

Federation University Australia Pipe Band president Tim Bodey, a snare drummer, said the band had been participating in the parade for more than 20 years. 

"It's a great event that really brings Ballarat together and it also gives us a chance to show off," Mr Bodey said.

The band played three sets, including Scotland the Brave.

"It's a crowd favourite," Mr Bodey said.

Other colourful displays included primary schools from around the region, local businesses including CruiseAbout with staff dressed up as characters from Shrek and sailors dancing behind them, White's Florist with a floral princess and Muzz Buzz with cheerleaders and balloons. 

Amy Miller was the floral princess who sat on top of the White's Florist float.

"I've only just moved to Ballarat, so I'd never been before," Ms Miller said.

"I didn't expect it to be so big. I really loved seeing all the different displays." 

Creswick Municipal band members dressed as smurfs as they marched playing their brass instruments and kids from Ready Steady Go did short running races as part of their display. 

Madison Holding, eight, said it was her first time at the parade and she loved all the costumes and floats.

Dressed as an American Indian princess to watch the parade, Madison said her favourite character from the parade was Shrek.

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