The Ballarat Begonia Festival is an innovative garden-based horticultural festival that show cases our city's natural assets including our unique and rare collection of Begonias.
The History of the Ballarat Begonia Festival
1953: The opening of the first Begonia Festival in Ballarat.
1954: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visits the Festival.
1953-1993: Ballarat Begonia Festival hosts ‘Queen of Begonias’. A judging panel would select one woman to become the annual Queen of Begonias. Her role was to promote the Festival and appear in the parade.
1960: The ‘new’ begonia glasshouse in the Botanical Gardens was opened and floral clock was installed. It was the largest electrically motorised floral clock in the world at the time.
1964: The floral carpet was the first large-scale, live-flower floral carpet, measuring 30 feet by 21 feet and featured over 700,000 specially grown blooms.
1972: Festival introduces Princesses of Begonias (runners-up).
1973: Annual parade moves to Lake Wendouree.
1993: The Festival crowns its last Queen of Begonias.
1995: The newly opened Robert Clark Conservatory became a focal point of the Festival.
1999: The Festival celebrated 100 years of begonias being present in Ballarat.
2012: 60th year celebrations
2015: The world’s largest outdoor LEGO flower, made by The Brickman Ryan McNaught, was launched at the Festival.
2022: 70th year celebration