Preparations are well under way for Ballarat's hallmark winter events, with lights going up at Sovereign Hill and an ice skating rink being constructed on Sturt Street.
Sovereign Hill's Winter Wonderlights kicks off festivities next Friday with a special locals only night with discounted tickets for Ballarat residents before the City of Ballarat's Winter Festival starts on Saturday, headlined by ice skating and Kryal Castle's Knights of Fire and Snow Queen Neva.
Ballarat residents will also have a chance to win one of 12 annual passes to Sovereign Hill by purchasing a ticket to Winter Wonderlights for any weeknight, Monday to Thursday, for the duration of the festival.
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Sovereign Hill head of external management Mark Hemetsberger said everyone was excited to have Winter Wonderlights back.
"We've got the fairy lights that have been installed on site this week. The staff have got an air of excitement about them and we can't wait for the opening night on Friday," he said.
City of Ballarat Mayor Daniel Moloney said the city's events opportunities would hopefully attract visitors for more than one day.
"We're a great day trip destination from Melbourne but Winter Wonderlights at Sovereign Hill also gives us the chance to encourage people to stay the night as well."
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