JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Canberra Day: Get out and party on, Katy Gallagher says

Events ACT staff Vanessa Febo and John Leahy set up for Canberra Day celebrations.

Events ACT staff Vanessa Febo and John Leahy set up for Canberra Day celebrations. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

Canberrans have been urged to get outdoors and enjoy the national capital to celebrate its 101st birthday.

Canberra Day is held on the second Monday in March each year to commemorate the official founding of the city on March 12, 1913.

The epicentre of the day's activities will be Commonwealth Park and Stage 88, with children's shows, live music and food stalls on offer.

Canberra Balloon spectacular. Click for more photos

2014 Canberra Balloon Spectacular

Scenes from the 2014 Canberra Balloon Spectacular Photo: Kym Bradley

Those keen to start early can visit the Balloon Spectacular on Old Parliament House's lawns from 6am.

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher urged the community to turn out to enjoy the free entertainment.

She said the highlight of her day would be announcing the first winner of the Snap 100 childrens' photography competition and then cutting the 101st birthday cake.

''Canberra Day is a great opportunity for all of us to celebrate together and get out and enjoy a range of activities that highlight what it is to be Canberrans," Ms Gallagher said.

Canberra Day is the culmination of the Celebrate Canberra festival where Canberrans are invited to enjoy the vibrancy of their city. The weekend's highlights included the final night of Enlighten, Le Diner En Blanc, the Black Opal Stakes, and Symphony in the Park.

Events ACT general manager Neale Guthrie said feedback from the weekend indicated a near record-breaking year.

Mr Guthrie said Enlighten trended third on Twitter across Australia on its first night and the events websites have all had record hits every day.

Although Saturday night's crowd was down due to wet weather, Mr Guthrie said Friday night was the biggest turnout Enlighten had seen in its four years of operation.

He hoped the numbers would surpass last year's centenary effort of 115,000 people through the week.

''All the institutions say numbers for Enlighten are up on last year,'' he said.

''We had really good weather, 23 degrees celsius; dark, still nights, so people took advantage of that … we've had good numbers despite the weather, literally, putting a dampener on things on Saturday.''

Mr Guthrie said the comedy festival, sporting events, Le Diner En Blanc, Symphony in the Park, and balloons had also reported strong support.

''Stitch those things together, tell a common story, and you end up with a nice three weeks of March.''

The party continues through the week, with a 101st anniversary celebration at the Street Theatre, on Tuesday, and Skyfire on Saturday.




Canberra Day 2014


6am-10am: Canberra Balloon Spectacular at the Old Parliament House lawns.

2pm-7pm: Canberra Day in the Park at Stage 88, Commonwealth Park, featuring Scooby-Doo shows, face-painting, jumping castles, picnic, games and amusement rides, local bands, and 19 food vendors.

2.30pm: Chief Minister Katy Gallagher will announce the winners of the Snap 100 - A Kids' Eye View photography competition before cutting a birthday cake.

8pm-10pm: Enlighten festival architectural projections final night.

For more information, see


  • That's all fine and good for Katy Gallagher to urge us to attend the festivities but what about the people who have to work? Police, firies, ambos, people in retail/ hospitality and nurses they have to work so other people can enjoy another day off.forgive me if i missed anyone. The only people who actually get to enjoy public holidays are public servants. Who i have to say are pretty annoying when they brag about 3 day weekends.

    Date and time
    March 10, 2014, 9:45AM
    • such inspirational outlook on life.

      Do you hear others complain when hospitality staff have there Mon/Tues long weekends?
      Don't like it, change your career path.

      Date and time
      March 10, 2014, 6:42PM
  • Kate, party on, fine but where is the motorsport, you know, noise n smoke n smell n family involvement.
    Oh, I understand, question to hard.

    Date and time
    March 10, 2014, 9:53AM
    • If its anything like the lake centenary celebrations I think ill pass on that one... once fooled, shame on me.

      cbr the cheap one
      Date and time
      March 10, 2014, 10:45AM
      • All the police I know get more time off than almost any of my other friends and they readily admit it. Event sounds a bit boring, token event really, nothing worth the trip. B

        Date and time
        March 10, 2014, 11:19AM
        • I don't expect the ACT Government to entertain me (at least not deliberately), but the usual jumping castles and face painting for the kiddies shows a lack of imagination, and there is certainly nothing about Canberra's history in any of the "celebrations." Just another long weekend (not that there is anything wrong with that).

          Pride of Erindale
          Date and time
          March 10, 2014, 11:48AM
          • WHY? So as the organisers can pat themselves on the back and tell us all how successful the events were?

            Date and time
            March 10, 2014, 1:26PM
            • Why? To celebrate as a community. Its simple people, if you dont want to go, dont go. Its very easy to be critical behind a keyboard, instead of leaving the comfort of your couch and experiencing events that are put on to celebrate our community and this great city we live in.

              Date and time
              March 10, 2014, 8:48PM
              Comments are now closed

              Related Coverage

              HuffPost Australia

              Follow Us

              Featured advertisers

              Special offers

              Credit card, savings and loan rates by Mozo