For the second consecutive year, Ballarat showed its true colours during White Night on Saturday.
Tens of thousands of people flocked to the Ballarat central business district to relish in the festival atmosphere of White Night.
For seven hours, people of all ages, cultural and religious backgrounds joined as one in the chorus of sound and colour that is White Night.
From 7pm Saturday until the wee hours of Sunday morning, the main inner city streets were awash with colour as Ballarat’s heritage buildings took on a different facade … one of colour, that told a story, that told a really bad dad joke, that showcased our past present and future.
Some of Ballarat’s oldest and exquisite buildings – including Craig’s Royal Hotel, the Ballarat Town Hall and the Art Gallery of Ballarat – were transformed from grey stone and concrete into a canvas of colour.
It was for those few short hours people forgot their woes, forgot how busy their lives were and just breathed in the spectacle that is White Night.
While the streets were packed with tens of thousands of people, everyone was so well behaved. It was a true feeling of happiness … almost a surreal party atmosphere but on a grand scale. Each and every face had a smile on it. There was the sound of laughter and chatter everywhere. And the weather gods were kind to us, with Ballarat relishing in the balmy early autumn night.
You wanted to soak in as much of this feeling of happiness and love that you didn’t want it to end.
It was a true family-friendly evening. There were people pushing prams, others walking their dogs and some using their mobility scooters to get around to see the sights.
It was an eerie feeling walking in the middle of such streets as Sturt, Lydiard, Mair and Armstrong – some of the most traffic-laden streets in the CBD – and yet there was not a car in sight. You almost felt a bit naughty for walking in the middle of the road.
And later Sunday morning, when people were arising from their sleep, there was not a sign White Night had even occurred. The bollards had been removed, the streets and footpaths were cleaned of any rubbish, the roads, which had been closed only hours earlier, were reopened.
The CBD was left in a pristine condition …. ready to celebrate White Night all over again in 2019.