The biggest date on the Canberra racing calendar, Black Opal Stakes, is on this Sunday 11 March at Thoroughbred Park.

In addition to the packed day of racing, the organisers have put together a huge list of activities to keep you busy throughout the day.

The Canberra Centre Fashions on the Field show is sure to be popular this year. The show’s concept is ‘The Podium’, with categories open for Classic Ladies Racewear, Classic Mens Racewear, and the Millenary Award, as well as the brand-new Outfit of the Day, exclusive to over-40s. Registration for the show will be help between noon and 3pm, with the winners announced on stage.

There’s plenty for the kids to do, with The Noah’s Ark Petting Zoo, jumping castle and face painting tent.  There will also be heaps of entertainment acts performing throughout the park, including roaming comedy acts The Opal Men and Jockeys on Stilts, four DJs, and live band Guitar Cases.  The Wild Voices Music Theatre will be on hand to perform the National Anthem, as well as the ‘Call to Post’ before every race.

Look out for the Canberra Makeup Academy, who will be giving complimentary makeup touch-ups, so you can look your best all throughout the day.

The inaugural Black Opal Stakes took place in 1973, and since then it’s grown to become one of the city’s most important racing events. The eight-race program for this year’s event includes the $300,000 John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes, the $200,000 Canberra Cup, $130,000 National Sprint and the XXXX Gold $130,000 Canberra Guineas.

Tickets to the big day can be purchased from the Thoroughbred Park website here, or on the gate. Gates will open at 11:30am, with the first race kicking off at 1:10pm.