6 MIGHTY MARCH EVENTS
VICTORIANS’ LOVE of a festival is legendary and March is most definitely festival month.
There are numerous festivals and events throughout the State which celebrate our great food, wine, music and arts. Here are six of our favourite major events.
Moomba, Australia’s largest free community festival, bursts to life on the Labour Day Weekend with free events for all ages along the banks of Melbourne’s Yarra River.
Highlights this year include 40 of Melbourne’s best food trucks serving all types of food. The Moomba Express is a train transporting passengers from Southgate Shopping Centre along the River Promenade and Boathouse Drive to the Moomba site.
There are heaps of rides at the Moomba Carnival while free activities, workshops and performances are being held on The Green. Nightly fireworks are another highlight.
The Moomba Skate Park is hosting the Australian Skateboard League National Grand Final, while the Yarra River is home to world acclaimed watersport athletes competing at the Moomba Masters.
Moomba’s newest entertainment area, the Bandstand, is hosting numerous musical acts while DJ’S are performing at the Palms Lawn. 10–13 March, various locations around Melbourne’s Yarra River. moomba.melbourne.vic.gov.au
MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FLOWER AND GARDEN SHOW
Now in its 22nd year, the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show is said to be the Southern Hemisphere’s largest horticultural event. This year’s show is again showcasing Australia’s top landscape and floral designers. Landscape designers are creating pop-up show gardens while Landscape Victoria’s Boutique Gardens Competition sees five designers create a series of intimate garden environments. The interior of the Royal Exhibition Building features all things floral. Highlights include installations, fresh flower sales from Flowers Victoria, RMIT floral fashions, main floral design installations from Australia’s foremost floral artists, live student design competitions and horticultural and floristry industry experts providing demonstrations and Q&A sessions. Numerous garden-themed cafés, bars and high tea spaces are scattered throughout the show. 29 March–2 April, Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, Nicholson Street, Carlton. melbflowershow.com.au
THE AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL AIRSHOW
The biennial Australian International Airshow returns to Avalon Airport this year with the theme ‘Air Power in Action’.
Combat jets, fighters and bombers from home and abroad, heavy lift aircraft, military display teams and rotary winged warriors are all strutting their stuff at the show.
A spectacular flying display highlights the thrust and grunt of air force heavy metal and the roar of attack helicopters.
This year’s show features the largest RAAF contingent to ever take part while seven overseas militaries are bringing aircraft to the event.
A record number of General Aviation and Airport groups are participating while historic aircraft groups are well represented. A large number of aviation museums are also at the show including the Australian National Aviation Museum.
The show features numerous aerobatic daredevils including national aerobatics champion, Paul Bennet, who is performing with his formation aerobatic team, the Skyaces. Other barnstorming performers are coming from far afield including the United States and Europe. 3–5 March, Avalon Airport, 80 Beach Road, Lara. airshow.com.au
AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX
From 23 to 26 March all eyes will turn to Albert Park for the staging of the 2017 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix.
Melbourne traditionally hosts the season opener and the race brings plenty of action and discussions as the teams line up against each other for the first time in 2017. As a result of new rules cars are expected to go faster this year than ever before.
Australian fans are again expected to support hometown hero Daniel Ricciardo as he looks to start the year in the best possible fashion on his home track.
A range of activities and events both on and off the track are also being held during the four days. 23–26 March, Albert Park. grandprix.com.au
MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is one of the biggest comedy festivals in the world. This year’s festival, scheduled from 29 March, features 550 shows and 7,000 performances.
Performers include rising local stars, Youtube sensations, award-winners and international drawcards. Highlights include RAW Comedy (Australia’s largest and most popular open mic competition), Class Clowns (workshops and comedy competition for teens), Deadly Funny (supporting Indigenous comedy) and Upfront (the glamour girls of comedy). From 29 March, various locations around Melbourne. comedyfestival.com.au
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA MELBOURNE FASHION FESTIVAL
This year’s Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival encompasses three major pillars; Fashion, Arts and Ideas.
The festival offers three weekends and two full weeks of free and ticketed events. There are numerous runway shows including seven ‘Premium Runways’ showcasing over 45 of Australia’s established and emerging designers. ‘Shop The Runway’ allows visitors to share and buy fashion and beauty looks, straight off the runway.
The Plaza, located between the Melbourne Museum and Royal Exhibition Building, features red carpet arrivals, food and drink, beauty and pampering and live entertainment. The arts program celebrates fashion beyond the runway into the realms of performance, design, film writing and creative industries.
The Festival’s Ideas program brings together industry professionals from around the world to discuss, debate and deliver seminars, workshops and forums that include a range of contemporary business topics and insights.
1–19 March, various locations around Melbourne, including Royal Exhibition Building and Melbourne Museum Precinct. vamff.com.au