With Ballarat being known for its cold winters, the Winter Festival launching this weekend hopes to light a fire under the city's tourism industry.
The Ballarat Winter Festival kicks off this Saturday and will run for three weeks through the Victorian and South Australian school holidays.
In the CBD, the festival is headlined by the ever-popular ice skating rink on Sturt Street while elsewhere, Sovereign Hill will light up the night with Winter Wonderlights, Kryal Castle will excite and amaze with its Knights of Fire and Queen Neva shows and visitors to the Ballarat Wildlife Park will be able to meet Honeybun, the golden Southern hairy-nosed wombat.
IN OTHER NEWS:
City of Ballarat Mayor Daniel Moloney said the ice skating rink alone brings about 20,000 people to the city.
"It's hard to tell in this COVID year the actual benefit it will bring but in past years, just even the ice skating rink and some of the council activities have brought in more than $900,000 of benefit," he said.
"We expect that it will be several times that. Even Sovereign Hill, just with the Winter Wonderlights, has actually in the past brought in more than 100,000 people just for that particular event.
"It'll be every several million dollars in benefit in a typical year, hard to tell what the benefit will be this time around. It really does come down to whether we can encourage as many Ballarat people to bring their family and friends to town."
If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Courier, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling Ballarat's story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great city.