EMBRACE the Ballarat cold with a mulled wine and paella or hot jam doughnut was the overriding spirit of Beyond Dark festival-goers.
The evening event to celebrate moody darkness in the depths of the city's renowned winter was the second annual addition to the popular Design Exchange Market, spilling into Alfred Deakin Place on Saturday.
Horsham mother-daughter duo Heather and Liz Brooks planned an overnight trip to Ballarat based on the market after seeing details for Beyond Dark on social media.
"It's something good to do in winter...and we'll do some more shopping tomorrow," Liz Brooks said.
Similarly Melburnian Emma Zunich decided on a weekend away with partner Marjan Zunic to make the most of the winter cold and darkness.
"We went to Garden of St Erth and heard about the market," Ms Zunich said. "It's a nice way to chill for the weekend."
There was live music from mid-afternoon with roving performers on stilts and flame throwing into the evening as darkness seeped in.
Beyond Dark is from Ballarat-born Lyndelle Flintoft, event director for the Design Exchange and popular Nightjar Festival markets in Geelong and on the Surf Coast in the summer.
Ballarat market-goer Terry Francis said it was important to support whatever was happening in the city - and a glass of mulled wine with some music near a fire was a good way to spend a winter's night in Ballarat.
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