Spring is almost upon us, and that means Canberra’s biggest spring celebration, Floriade, is not too far away!

Floriade began as a one-off event to celebrate Australia’s Bicentenary and Canberra’s 75th birthday, and it was so popular with the community that it became an annual event. In 2017, Floriade will be celebrating its 30th consecutive year, and the organisers have announced some big changes for this season’s installment.

Perhaps the most exciting addition to this year’s event is the announcement of the inaugural Floriade Twilight Concert, to be hosted by Singapore Airlines. The concert will feature an open-air musical performance by David Bowie tribute act, Ziggy Band, supported by the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. This exclusive event will be held on Friday 15 September and will give visitors the opportunity to experience this year’s flower bed designs before the 16 September opening. Tickets for the Twilight Concert can be purchased here, with discounted prices available for family groups.

As the sun sets over Lake Burley Griffin, the festival will come alive, as popular after-dark event Nightfest lights up over two weekends. This year’s NightFest will showcase a larger display of LED lighting and interactive installations than in previous years. A larger, designated stage for comedy performances will be a feature of this year’s evening schedule, as well as an extended program of live music and roving performances, and more food and beverage offerings.

Over one million bulbs and 100 species of tulip, will be in full bloom at Floriade, displayed in flower beds that take 18 months in the making. Fans of the event can have a sneak peek at some of the designs at the Floriade website, here. Floriade has also enlisted the expertise of Canberra design group, LANDSCAPEalign, to bring the designs to life.

The sculpture garden will be back and bigger than ever, with a diverse collection of sculptures hidden amongst the sea of tulips. These amazing pieces are curated in collaboration with artsACT from a range of local and national artists, who use everything from stone to recycled plastic to create these stunning works of art.

Foodies will also be right at home at this year’s event, with a range of workshops and demonstrations by renowned chefs from across the country.

Dog’s Day Out is on again at Floriade this year, giving visitors the chance to bring their furry friends to Commonwealth Park on Saturday 14 October. There’ll be a free photo booth, the Pooch Café, Dog’s Day Out Market, and lots of activities to keep your four-legged friend entertained. Make sure to enter the best-dressed pup competition for the chance to win some goodies!

Floriade will open its gates on Saturday 16 September, and run until Sunday 15 October. The organisers have extended the daytime opening hours from 10am-7pm this year, giving visitors the best chance to experience everything the festival has to offer.

For more information on this year’s event, including parking and transport info, head on over to the Floriade website.