Put on the party hats
Composer Andrew Schultz, has written a special symphony to celebrate Canberra's Centenary. Photo: Jay Cronan
In case you haven't heard, it's party time in Canberra this weekend. There's a multitude of events to celebrate the national capital's 100th birthday for locals and visitors alike.
Tuesday, March 12, marks the actual anniversary, but the partying is already under way in parts of the city and hits full steam on Monday.
For full details on everything that's happening across the long weekend, see canberra100.com.au. However, Times2 has compiled this ready reckoner of some highlights.
Hot-air balloons will fly above Old Parliament House. Photo: Karleen Minney
For the young, and the young at heart, We Built This City offers a chance to channel the Griffins and get creative in Civic Square.
Performers taking the role of construction workers will guide participants in building a cardboard box city then trampling it down. It began on Thursday and continues until Saturday.
The Canberra Symphony Orchestra will play Andrew Schultz's Symphony No.3 - Century (2013, Opus 91) in front of Old Parliament House on Monday.
Although the official celebrations are on Monday, Tuesday is the actual anniversary of Canberra's official naming and organisers are encouraging all Australians to pause and raise a glass to toast their capital city at 11am on Tuesday.
WHAT'S ON FRIDAY (March 8)
We Built This City
Where: Civic Square, London Circuit.
When: from 8am Friday (and Saturday).
Details: A large-scale ''participatory theatrical installation'' for children. It's a public construction site using nothing but thousands of cardboard boxes. Guided by performers in the role of construction workers who facilitate the free play, the children build an entire city in one day.
Lights! Canberra! Action! Film Festival
Where: Senate Rose Gardens, Old Parliament House.
When: 7pm to 10pm.
Details: Budding filmmakers have 10 days to write, shoot, edit and produce a seven-minute short film around a theme and 10 specific items. Bring your chair or bean bag, blanket and movie snacks to watch some fun films free.
WHAT'S ON SATURDAY (March 9)
The Canberra Balloon Spectacular 2013
Where: Lawns of Old Parliament House.
When: Balloons launch at 6am, entertainment and breakfast until 10am.
Details: A giant Darth Vader head will hover above the capital as part of this year's of hot-air balloon spectacular. The other novelty-shaped balloons include a peacock and Simba the lion, and Mr Bup the Turtle. The 26metre-high Darth Vader balloon, took its maiden flight in Europe in 2007. A flotilla of about 40 balloons is expected to fly in the festival, which runs from 6am each day from Saturday to March 17.
WHAT'S ON SUNDAY (March 10)
Kamberra Wine Company Black Opal Stakes; ACTTAB Canberra Centenary Cup Raceday
Where: Thoroughbred Park.
Details: Racing colour and action. Tickets: Adults $25, aged pensioners $5, under-18s free.
Imagining the Capital: Canberra on Film
Where: Senate Rose Garden.
Details: This cinema event has been 100 years in the making - a compilation of screen clips throughout the years showing lifestyle, politics and architecture in Canberra. It begins with the beautifully restored - and surprisingly moving - footage of the 1913 naming ceremony on the site of Old Parliament House.
WHAT'S ON MONDAY (March 11)
One Very Big Day
Where: Around the shores of Lake Burley Griffin.
When: from noon until late. Includes a ''Griffin-inspired'' fireworks display scheduled for 8.45pm, which to be shown on big screens set up around the lake.
Details: all events are free, except ''The Longest Bubbly Bars in the World'', tickets for which have sold out.
Highlights of the big day include:
In So Many Words: The lake and surrounds will be decorated with word art, including such words as ''welcome'' at Regatta Point, ''home'' at Rond Terrace and ''remember'' west of Rond Terrace. The word ''country'' - constructed from natural, native materials - will be raised up during a special ceremony to music by Graeme Leak from 3.45pm in King's Park.
Noise Orchestra: Members of the public come together to perform in a parade of roving entertainment in King's Park. Noise Orchestra workshops will take place at 12.30pm, 1.30pm and 2.30pm. The Noise Orchestra will then play in King's Park at 3.45pm before marching with brass bands and drummers to Rond Terrace. You can find the Noise Orchestra workshops next to Blundell's Cottage.
Symphony premiere: Andrew Schultz's Symphony No.3 - Century will have its world premiere at 8pm on the Symphony Stage on the Lawns of Old Parliament House. It will be performed by the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and shown on all big screens.
Roving entertainment: From noon until 11pm, roving performers will entertain crowds around the lake, including Brass Knuckle Brass Band, The Mango Balloon, Los Chavos, The Griffyn Ensemble, Dragon Boat Drummers and Jim Sharrock's Drum Boat.
Gourmet food stalls: A food and wine marketplace near Reconciliation Place will offer the best of local food, wine and produce. You can buy supplies direct from the producers and picnic by the lake, or buy delicious meals from one of the pop-up restaurant stalls.
hAbitAt: Leave your mark by attaching words to tents at King's Park. Words can be made from existing letters, or they can be knitted or sewn from a basket of materials right there and then. From noon to 7pm.
Lake regatta: Between 4pm and 7.30pm, vessels will fill Lake Burley Griffin.
For more information on these events and many others around the lake on Monday, see oneverybigday.com.au.
WHAT'S ON TUESDAY (March 12)
Parties at the Shops
Where: at 20 neighbourhood shopping centres, including Waramanga, Kambah, Hackett, Garran, Curtin, Dickson, Isabella Plains, Hughes, Chisholm, Bonner, Higgins, Hackett, Chifley and Watson.
When: Parties begin at different times in different suburbs so check you local shops.
Details: To connect communities, showcase local talent and celebrate the distinct personalities of Canberra's suburbs and the interesting characters who live there, 20 separate neighbourhood parties will be staged at local shops across Canberra on March 12, with a few more thrown in on Friday March 15 and Saturday March 16. More information can be found at facebook.com/PartiesattheShops.
The Dream of a Century: The Griffins in Australia's Capital: Rare original plans, silk lithographs and scrawled notes from the hands of Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin - Canberra's original designers - are on display at the National Library of Australia until June 10. Many of the items have never been seen in public, and shed new light on the couple's life and work together.
Glorious Days: Australia 1913: A display focusing on the year that Canberra was officially founded - a year of fabulous optimism for a young country. The National Museum has drawn on its extensive collection to give a snapshot of what was a great year for Australia. Rollerskating and tango were all the rage, Antarctica had been conquered, Australia finally had its own military and a new city was about to take shape. Continues until October 13.
Design 29: Creating a Capital: See the original and rarely displayed designs for Canberra by the 1911 Federal Capital City Design Competition finalists. A once-in-a-century opportunity, these intricate artworks and plans include the winning entry No. 29 submitted by Walter Burley Griffin. Discover the arguments and personalities that shaped the national capital, using iPads for a cutting-edge experience through augmented reality technology. At the National Archive of Australia until September 8.
The Famous Spiegel Garden: Carnival celebrations featuring local, national and international artists. Open from noon until late every day until March 24, in the Senate Rose Garden, next to Old Parliament House. Details: spiegeltent.net.
Enlighten: See some of Canberra's landmark buildings illuminated with stunning projections. Designed by local Canberra artists with Sydney-based company Electric Canvas, these large-scale works will transform the Parliamentary Triangle. From dark until 1am Friday and Saturday.
■ For more information about centenary weekend events, see canberra100.com.au.