Floriade springs to life in Canberra

The flowers are blooming, the giant ferris wheel is turning and Commonwealth Park, Canberra, is buzzing with excitement as Floriade 2013 prepares to open its gates.

The spring festival will open officially at 9am this Saturday with a stellar program inspired by the 2013 theme, Beautiful Innovation.

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MasterChef favourite and Oxfam ambassador, Julie Goodwin, will kick things off in the kitchen during Floriade’s opening weekend and larrikin builder and star of Network Ten’s The Living Room, Barry Du Bois, will transform a boring backyard into an outdoor wonderland with a few DIY tricks.

The ANU School of Music will begin its series of Floriade concerts at Stage 88 with a performance featuring renowned jazz vocalist and star of The Voice, Emma Pask.

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With a jam-packed program featuring hundreds of events and activities over 30 days, here are Floriade’s top five things to do:

1) Grab some tips on sustainable gardening practices from ABC TV’s gardening guru, Costa Georgiadis, on Saturday, September 21.

2) Discover the key trends as the Canberra Centre hits the runway with daily fashion shows from Monday, September 23, until Sunday, September 29. The Inspiration Hub will come alive during NightFest with live fashion, music and lighting shows.

3) Don’t miss an appearance from the famous scientist, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, as he announces the winner of the Aspiring Inventors competition in The Inspiration Hub on Sunday, October 6.

4) Check out former MasterChef contestant, Poh Ling Yeow, as she draws on her Malaysian heritage to cook up a storm during Contemporary Cultures week on Saturday and Sunday, October 12 and 13.

5) Whether you are wandering around the park or relaxing on the lawns while enjoying the gorgeous vistas of Commonwealth Park, a Streets ice cream is the perfect accompaniment to any trip to Floriade.

Details and/or tickets to the annual moonlit extravaganza Floriade NightFest: floriadeaustralia.com