SPRING racing could be just the inspiration Ballarat needs to shed the trackies and dress up to support Ballarat business while having a little socially distanced fun with friends.
Book a blow-wave, schedule a spray tan and start shopping for a new outfit and get back into the sporting spirit as you emerge from isolation is the Commerce Ballarat message.
Commerce Ballarat has teamed up with Plate Up Ballarat for Big Sport Spectacular, a foodie sporting festival that kicked off on AFL grand final day and will gallop through to Melbourne Cup on November 3.
A series of takeaway boxes and in-venue dining options are available to help celebrate a bumper sporting week while feeling good about supporting Ballarat hospitality and retail hit hard by the pandemic.
Commerce Ballarat's Leah Purtell said the festival's aim was to have some fun in re-opening as a city.
"With the races coming up, a lot of venues are putting on special events. Takeaway boxes are good that with limited numbers it gives venues options for what they could do," Ms Purtell said.
"We're really encouraging people to be dressing up as much as possible, whether going out or for home, and maybe buy a dress, get your hair dome and get a spray tan to support local business."
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Big Sport Spectacular follows fun Plate Up campaigns like a burger competition in May or the winter pasta challenge to encourage people to keep eating for Ballarat businesses amid pandemic restrictions.
Venue offerings featured some hot pies and burgers that proved popular for grand final weekend but Ms Purtell said there were also lots of charcuterie and grazing boxes or dessert and cocktails in spring racing style.
Piano Bar Ballarat will live stream music and entertainment after the final race from the Melbourne Cup next Tuesday to finish the festival on a bright note.
Live music will be allowed for outdoor venues from Wednesday within venue limits and with band members at least two metres apart.
Sharing your style or foodie photos via Instagram with #sportingspectacular could earn you a $500 retail or hospitality voucher. Ms Purtell said it was a fun way to show what Ballarat had to offer.
Big Sport Spectacular venues include:
- The Turret Catering
- Peter Ford Catering
- Mitchell Harris
- City Oval Hotel
- Fabulous Feast
- Irish Murphy's
- Freight Bar
- Country Casseroles
- Eclectic Tastes
- Red Lion Hotel
- Golden City Hotel
- The Forge
- Tiara's Treats
- Brown Hill Hotel
- North Ballarat Sports Club
- Flying Horse Entertainment Venue
- Western Hotel
More details: plateupballarat.com.au.