Make the most of the 2024 Bendigo Easter Festival and plan ahead

Media release

Make the most of the Year of the Dragon at the 2024 Bendigo Easter Festival with traditional cultural activities, entertainment, and family fun from Good Friday March 29 to Easter Sunday March 31, and community-run events on Easter Monday April 1.

City of Greater Bendigo Manager Tourism and Major Events Terry Karamaloudis said the final preparations were underway for Bendigo’s biggest homegrown community event.

“It’s the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese Lunar Calendar and the Bendigo Easter Festival will be a major highlight which is very exciting for residents and visitors,” Mr Karamaloudis said.

“The traditional Chinese cultural events will be extra special with all eyes on the longest Imperial Dragon Dai Gum Loong at the Sherridon Homes Gala Parade. We will also see the rare appearance of two additional dragons, Yar Loong and Gansu at both parades to mark the special year.

“Many parade floats will embrace the dragon theme too to mark the Year of the Dragon,” Mr Karamaloudis said.

“The popular after dark spectacle at the O’Brien Electrical and AC Torchlight Procession will start later at 8pm on Easter Saturday due to daylight saving. Yar Loong and Gansu will be joining the Torchlight Parade alongside a fantastic display of illuminated floats.

“With the poppet head closed for safety maintenance works, people should be aware that the fireworks display after the Torchlight Procession on Saturday night will be different this year.

“The display will be based at ground level for the first time. People are advised that the fireworks are best seen from elevated areas such as the top of View Street, Barnard Street, the Queen Elizabeth Oval vicinity. Please note the fireworks will not be easily seen in lower areas of Rosalind Park or at street level, including Pall Mall.”

The Sherridon Homes Gala Parade starts at around 12.30pm on Easter Sunday March 31 and brings together Chinese lions, bands, music and a variety of community and cultural groups. In celebration of the Year of the Dragon, the world’s longest Imperial Dragon Dai Gum Loong will be weaving through the city centre together with Yar Loong and Gansu.

Rosalind Park will be a hive of activity from 10am to 5pm from Good Friday to Easter Sunday with entertainment, family fun, live music, food stalls and much more. Families can enjoy the popular Octonauts performing on the Fosterville Gold Mine Main Stage at 11.10am and 1.05pm on Saturday March 30 with a meet and greet at 12.05pm and 2pm in Rosalind Park.

Carnival entertainment, family activities and live music will be held over the first three days with a variety of fun community events continuing over the long weekend until Monday so there will be something for everyone.

“Bendigo is a very special place to be over the Easter weekend, which is thanks to our sponsors, together with the Bendigo Chinese Association, the Bendigo Easter Fair Society, City staff, many community groups and volunteers, so I encourage everyone to come out and enjoy all the amazing activities on offer.”

Other festival highlights:

  • Bendigo is the birthplace of women’s cricket, and the first match took place during the Bendigo Easter Fair in 1874. On Good Friday March 29, the QEO will host some exciting activities including a 150th Anniversary Women’s Cricket Match between Bendigo and Ballarat with an all-girls cricket clinic prior to the game with Aussie cricket starts Cathryn Fitzpatrick and Kelly Applebee at 12.45pm and a T20 match Bendigo V Ballarat at 2pm (a separate media release will be provided with more details)
  • Way of the Cross in Rosalind Park at 8pm on Good Friday at the Fosterville Gold Mine Main Stage
  • The Vision Australia Easter Egg Hunt is on from 9.40am to 5pm in Rosalind Park on Good Friday March 29 and more tickets are available. Vision Australia has recently received a donation of eggs which means that have been able to release new tickets across all time slots (please note, current ticket bookings cannot be changed)
  • From 9am to 4pm on Good Friday March 29, the Rotary Market returns to Pall Mall and Easter Fair Way. Please be aware that due to the Gala Parade on Easter Sunday, the Rotary Market will be held from 9am to 4pm at Easter Fair Way and Hargreaves Street
  • A joyous Celebration, a morning family festival from 11am to 12.30pm on Saturday March 30 at Dai Gum San precinct
  • The Awakening of the Dragon is at 2pm on Saturday March 30 featuring traditional celebrations presented by the Bendigo Chinese Association and visiting lions (Dai Gum Loong does not appear at this ceremony)
  • Carnival Central at Mundy Street will bring the thrill of the rides and sideshow alley games to entertain the whole family from Good Friday to Easter Sunday
  • On Easter Saturday March 30, the Moonlight Easter Market will be held from 10am to 4pm in Hargreaves Mall and in Hargreaves Street
  • The Bull Street Festival returns with a great of live music presenting the best of local and regional talent from Good Friday March 29 to Easter Sunday March 31
  • A variety of community-run events will take place on Easter Monday April 1 including the Bendigo Easter Art Show, A Parade of Quilts, Easter Book Fair and Children’s Dragon Making workshop at Golden Dragon Museum
Greater Bendigo