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Canberra (Long) Weekend: What's on in Canberra March 11-14

Your guide to what's going on around the capital this long weekend.

All weekend

CANBERRA BALLOON SPECTACULAR From Saturday morning, the lawns of Old Parliament House will fill with more than 40 hot air balloons, inflating and launching into the Canberra skies from 6.15-7am. Breakfast and coffee available. Until March 20. Free for spectators. For balloon flights see

NIGHT NOODLE MARKETS As part of Enlighten, the Canberra Night Noodle Markets return for the second year and this year they've doubled in size. Lots of Asian street eats from local and national vendors. Until Sunday night, 5pm til late. Reconciliation Place. Free entry.

ENLIGHTEN Canberra lights up again this weekend for the annual Enlighten Festival. There's music, food, entertainment, tours and exhibitions, plus impressive light displays projected on buildings. Most of the events are in the Parliamentary Triangle. Some events are ticketek but many are free. Until Saturday night. See

FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL The 27th Alliance Française French Film Festival is back at Palace Electric Cinemas with 48 flicks from March 3-29. Full program and tickets at

LA CLIQUE The feature show of The Famous Spiegeltent, set up in front of Canberra Theatre Centre, the award-winning La Clique redefines cabaret with magic, burlesque, acrobatics and death-defying aerial feats. Until March 14. $55-$65 from

LANYON PLANT FAIR Now in its fifth year, Canberra's plant fair at Lanyon Homestead, Tharwa Drive is back on Saturday and Sunday, 10am-4pm. There's bulbs and trees, natives and exotics, as well as garden art, tours, books, tools and demonstrations. Entry $10, under 18s free. See


HANDMADE MARKET More than 220 local artists, designers, stylists and gourmets selling their wares all under one roof. Includes gourmet food hall. Exhibition Park. 10am-4pm Saturday and Sunday. ATM on site. Free entry. See

Friday, March 11

6pm ALBUM LAUNCH Sydney singer and composer Christine Jane will launch her new album Headmiles at 38 Espresso, Kingston Foreshore. Tickets include canapes and an ''espresso-based concoction''. $21.43 from

7pm LIGHTS CANBERRA ACTION The filmmaking film festival is back. Filmmakers are given a list of 10 items to include in their movie, with only 10 days to shoot, edit and produce a seven minute film exploring the theme of Chance. The top 12 films will be screened, with the winner announced at the end of the night. Senate Rose Gardens. Bring your own picnic, food stalls also available. Free entry.

7pm THE ESCALATORS A quartet with 'more grooves than a record store'. They're releasing their new alubum From The Hip at Smith's Alternative. $15 from

7.30pm ALL THIS LIVING A solo piece of theatre created in Canberra through The Hive program, All This Living uses humour, mixed with home truths and leaps of imagination to tell Jay's story. The Street Theatre. $28-$30 from

8pm WUTHERING HEIGHTS Emily Bronte's masterpiece of love and revenge is adapted to the stage in this touring production at the Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre. Also Saturday at 2pm and 8pm. $30-$45 from

8pm BOOTLEG RASCAL Coming straight off a run of music festivals over the summer, hip hop group Bootleg Rascal is touring the country to launch their first full-length album, Asleep In The Machine. After their Aussie tour, they're headed to the US to support Sticky Fingers. They're playing at Transit Bar. $18.40 from

Saturday, March 12

From 7am CHARITY GARAGE SALE Huge range of clothing, household items and more starting at $1.50, with all proceeds going towards international aid and development organisations. 7am-noon. 5 O'Grady Place, Wanniassa.

2pm ROCK OF AGES Canberra Philharmonic Society's production of the rock musical celebrating the music and fashions of the 1980s, with a score made up of classic songs from the era is on at Erindale Theatre. Also 8pm. $25-$49 from

3pm RAIDERS MATCH The Raiders will play host to the Roosters at GIO Stadium. $15.29-$20.39 from

6.30pm TURNING TRICKS British trickster, lounge wizard and snake-oil seller Paul Zenon makes his Canberra debut in The Famous Spiegeltent. $30-$35 from

7pm ANNIE AND BERN The duo bring their vintage music, like something straight out of 1960s Britain, to Smith's Alternative. Supported by Mixtape Chorus and The Cheeky Violets. $10 from

8pm THE THREEPENNY OPERA Canberra Repertory Society presents the Bertolt Brecht-Kurt Weill musical satire that includes the song Mack the Knife at Theatre 3, Acton. $36-$42 from

10.30pm BURLESQUE IDOL Amateur burlesque performers take to the stage, with the audience playing judge. The Famous Spiegeltent $40-$45 from

Sunday, March 13

Noon QUEANBEYAN ANNUAL SCOTTISH CEIILDH This annual event has pipes and drums bands, Celtic singing, highland dancing, poetry, food and crafts. Queanbeyan Bicennential Hall. Free.

1pm SWORD FIGHTING Get a taste of sword fighting with the Society for Creative Anachronism. Learn to fight like a knight at this introductory session. Ainslie Scout Hall, corner of Ebden and Hassall streets, Ainslie. See

1pm BALLETS RUSSES Experience four essential works – performed in their original choreography – with music by Weber, Debussy, Falla and Stravinsky in this Paris Opera Ballet screening at Palace Electric. Also Saturday at 1pm. Tickets $18-$24.

1.30pm CHATTERTON-MCCRIGHT DUO On tour from America, the Chatterton-McCright Duo will perform classic and contemporary works for flute and piano at the High Court of Australia, including Sonata in D Major, op. 94 by Sergei Prokofiev and Fantaisie Brillante on Themes from Carmen by Georges Bizet-Francois Borne. Bookings essential.

3pm THE GIRLS – WILD VOICES This four-member ensemble performing in The Famous Spiegeltent outside the Canberra Theatre plays piano, flute, double bass, electric bass, percussion, recorders and more, with a repertoire ranging from classic to rock, music theatre to world music. Tickets $35/$30. or 6275 2700.

6pm AUSTRALIAN KINGSWOOD FACTORY The Melbourne rock'n'roll group is in town to release their debut album 245. Transit Bar. $10 at the door. See

6.30pm BEAUTIFULLY MAD Singers and songwriters Tony King and Nina Vox with their band perform their blend of folk and jazz in The Famous Spiegeltent outside the Canberra Theatre. Tickets $23. or 6275 2700.

7.30pm SYMPHONY IN THE PARK At Stage 88 in Commonwealth Park a free screening of the family film Babe will have its score accompanied live by the Canberra Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer, Nigel Westlake.

10.30pm THE NAUGHTY RHYTHMS Canberra band the Naughty Rhythms have a style heavily influenced by the English "ska" movement and deliver originals peppered with classics from bands like the Specials and Dexy's Midnight Runners in The Famous Spiegeltent. Tickets $23.

Monday, March 14

From 2pm CANBERRA DAY Celebrate Canberra's 103rd birthday at Stage 88 in Commonwealth Park – there will be performances by Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, DJ Felixx and The Aston Shuffle. 2-7pm. Free. 

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