What it does mean, though, is that there are stacks of fun things going on this long weekend. Which happens to be Australia Day weekend - Monday is Australia Day! It was hard to pick just a few! I'm pretty sure that wherever you are you will find some Australia Day-related markets and fireworks displays, so I've steered clear of those for now.
Oh, and if you are interested, here are some of the websites I peruse to find out what is happening around Melbourne:
Anyway, on to this weekend!
Ballarat Beer Festival
Any time I see anything about Ballarat advertised, I'll always check it out. I've actually been to the Ballarat Beer Festival a couple of years ago, and I quite enjoyed myself! It's one of those festivals where you buy tokens on the way in, which replaces paying money to vendors. I think that particular concept is a bit lame, but otherwise, there was a range of drinks and foods at the event, and as long as the weather holds out, a Saturday afternoon sitting on a blanket with friends and / or family is a pretty good way to pass the time. And hey, you get to see a little bit of my home town!
Summersalt Outdoor Arts Festival
If you want to avoid the beach this summer (which honestly, I have no real desire to visit), one place to do this is at the brand new SummerSalt Outdoor Arts Festival which will be held in Southbank over five weekends from 23 January. Events are either free or low-cost, live and include music, dance, circus, installations, circus acts and theatre. You can find the full guide here. If you're feeling a little lacking in culture, go visit this festival for a cultural hit!
Fun Run Pink
It's been awhile since I've seen a Fun Run around town, and this one sounds ... well, fun! In conjunction with the Ramsay Health Care Triathlon Pink being held at Albert Park on Sunday, there will be a Fun Run, sponsored by Brooks, for women, men and children to participate in. Whilst there are a variety of length triathlons going on, if you would rather stay on your feet, you can do a 5km, 2.5km or 1km (only if you're a kid!) run.
I've mentioned before that one of my chosen causes to support is breast cancer support and research, and one of the goals of Triathlon Pink is raising funds for charities who provide breast cancer support, education, research and advocacy. So maybe your Sunday morning run can also benefit this great cause.
International Street Food Festival
I saw this event advertised awhile ago (I'm a bit obsessed with food trucks!), and I've been eagerly awaiting it's arrival. The International Street Food Festival is being held at the Melbourne Showgrounds on Sunday and Monday. It sounds like there will be a bit of everything: music, shopping, rides, fashion, comedy, demonstrations, and, of course, food! With 80 styles of food on offer, they are calling themselves a 'foodie utopia'. Some that caught my eye? Cafe Verona - Creme Brulee, Kona Pizza, Gumbo Kitchen, and Treat Yo Self Cart. Can you say YUM??
Australia Day Midnight Rambler
If you are ready and able to get into some long distance races (I salute you!), you could take part in the Australia Day Midnight Rambler being held in You Yangs, west of Melbourne, on Sunday night. This is a night of trail running, from 5km, to Bak2Bak Marathons (umm ... two marathons in a row??), but also includes 3 and 6 hour team relays. It all kicks off from 6pm, and goes until 9am the next morning. Crazy much? Maybe just crazy enough to go check out ...
Kensington Australia Day Festival
Remember how I said I always check out something relating to Ballarat? Well, the same applies to dogs! The Kensington Australia Day Festival on Monday is basically a street party (on Macaulay Road, Kensington) with a dog show! Following an Australia Day citizenship ceremony, the pooch parade will hold five categories of competition – best dressed, best talker, best trickster, best owner look-a-like and best in show. All money will be donated to the North Melbourne Lost Dog's Home - where we got Angus! Oh, and don't forget the billycart races and the lamington eating competition. If this doesn't help you get into the Aussie spirit, I'm not sure what will!
What are your plans for the long weekend? If you're not in Australia, have you been? What did you see / do you want to see if you were here?