Dozens of smiling children carried a bright red and orange dragon above their heads as they lead the Begonia Parade beside Lake Wendouree.
Canadian Lead Primary School, Sebastopol Primary School and Mt Blowhard Primary School pupils were presented the Mayor’s Choice Award for their Begonia Parade entry Gum Long.
Thousands of festival-goers lined Wendouree Parade to see the colour and diversity of Ballarat Begonia Festival’s biggest event on Monday morning.
More than 40 community groups, schools and businesses took part in the Begonia Parade, marching, dancing, some even rollerskating down the street while sharing Ballarat pride.
Check out our gallery of photos here
City of Ballarat mayor Samantha McIntosh said Ballarat’s Begonia Parade continues to be a much-loved community event, and she was proud to see it grow each year.
Nothing says community more than the Begonia Parade.Samantha McIntosh, City of Ballarat mayor
“Nothing says community more than the Begonia Parade,” she said.
“Every year it’s fantastic to see so many members of our community come together and celebrate the people who make up our diverse city.”
Ballarat’s diversity and multiculturalism was on show as Ballarat cultural groups from countries all over the world donned their traditional dress.
The Chinese cultural society lead the festival, with the Ballarat Malayalee Association, Ballarat Region Indonesian Society, Thai-Australian association, Ballarat multicultural council and Filipino association following throughout.
Ballarat residents Rennae Robinson, Chris Sneddon and their 14-month-old daughter Summer watched the parade from the street.
Ms Robinson had grown up coming to the Begonia Festival. This year was the first time at the parade for her daughter Summer.
“The parade is just great for the kids. Summer loved it when they came past,” she said.
Watch the live broadcast of the Begonia Parade
The Begonia Festival runs until 4pm on Monday at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens.
Read all you need to know about the Begonia Festival here.
BEGONIA PARADE WINNERS
Mayor’s Choice Award
Gum Long (Mount Blowhard, Sebastopol and Canadian Lead Primary Schools)
Best Schools Entry
Our Lady Help of Christians Primary School
Best Community Entry
Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council
Best Business Entry
Dance 2 The Beat
Best Musical Entry
Federation University Australia Pipe Band