PHOTOS: Ballarat Heritage Weekend captures city's unique history

BALLARAT came alive at the weekend, with Ballarat Heritage Weekend capturing the city’s unique history and displaying it for all to see. 

Activities, tours and exhibitions – backed by Ballarat’s historic buildings – showed off the best of what the city had to offer, with gold panning behind the town hall and vintage cars parked on Sturt Street. 

The Ballarat Brass Band and Ballarat Memorial Concert Band played throughout the weekend from the balcony of The George. 

Ballarat Brass Band president Trevor Wilden said it was a big gig for the band that encouraged them to come outside and play for the community. 

He said the Ballarat Brass Band had been around for about 100 years, but there were more brass bands in the city when it first started. 

“It would’ve been the thing many years ago, so it ties in well to the weekend,” Mr Wilden said. 

A retro lounge, fashion display and information booths filled the Mining Exchange, but children were drawn to replicating the city. 

Run by Public Mischief, children built some of the city’s iconic buildings with cardboard boxes including St Patrick’s Cathedral, the train station, the Town Hall and the Mining Exchange. 

Public Mischief artist Janine Hilder said the kids cut out arches and bricks and stuck them to cardboard boxes. 

“They’re all having a lot of fun. One boy made the Eureka Flag to put on top of the Town Hall,” Ms Hilder said. 

Step back in time: Fashion of bygone eras take the stage at the Mining Exchange as a part of Ballarat Heritage Weekend. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

Step back in time: Fashion of bygone eras take the stage at the Mining Exchange as a part of Ballarat Heritage Weekend. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

“They also made a campsite, to show some of the first settlers in the area.”

The Stokes family travel from Melbourne each year for the weekend to see their grandparents and take part in Ballarat Heritage Weekend. 

“The kids love the art and craft around town, and the boys love seeing the vintage cars. We have to come down especially for them,” Cathy Stokes said. 

City of Ballarat Mayor Josh Morris took his family along to some of the events over the weekend, including one of his favourites, the steam train. 

“It was absolutely fantastic and a great opportunity for people who love the old trains,” he said.

“It really brings out the heritage feel of the old train station building.” 

Mr Morris said the event had been one which drew out multiple families to see the trains in action. 

“The street is absolutely alive, and there are lots of people everywhere,” he said. 

“It is a good opportunity to look up at some of the beautiful buildings we have.”

Sue Lewin travelled from Geelong to see her daughter and said she wished there was a Heritage Weekend every weekend.


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