About the event
In 2023, the Bendigo Easter Festival will be held Friday April 7 - Monday April 10.
Over the Easter long weekend, Bendigo’s beautiful Rosalind Park and surrounding streets will be transformed into a vibrant precinct bursting with family-friendly entertainment.
An extensive program of activities and attractions offers something for all ages. Be in the hunt for 80,000 Easter Eggs on Good Friday, experience the thrills of Carnival Central, find a treasure at the Rotary Market, rock along to live music or keep the kids busy in a park filled with hands-on activities and performances.
Dance, drums, Lion teams and 100,000 crackers are all part of Awakening of the Dragon, as Bendigo celebrates its Chinese heritage at the Dai Gum San Precinct.
As the sun sets on Easter Saturday, cheer on the convoy of illuminated floats in the O'Brien Plumbing & HVAC Torchlight Procession, concluding with a spectacular firework display over the city.
Don’t miss the iconic Bendigo Advertiser Gala Parade on Easter Sunday where you’ll experience the excitement of Dai Gum Loong, the world’s longest Imperial Dragon, weaving his way through the historic streetscapes of Bendigo.
The Bendigo Easter Festival is filled with fun and excitement the whole family will enjoy, and after visiting this annual event it is sure to become your family’s Easter tradition!
Note: the main festival precinct and activities will operate from Good Friday - Easter Sunday. Smaller community run events will be held on Easter Monday in various locations within the City.
The first Bendigo Easter Fair, as it was known then, was held in 1871 by Messrs, Aspinal and Burnside to raise funds for the Sandhurst Benevolent Asylum and Hospital raising over £1000 for this charitable cause. The fair was considered such a success that it has been held every year since (except 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic), making it one of Australia's longest ongoing community festivals!
The festival was originally staged by the Bendigo Easter Fair Society, a not for profit organisation formed in 1871. Due to the growing scale and complexity of the festival, it is now coordinated by the City of Greater Bendigo. However, the Bendigo Easter Fair Society continue to be involved, with volunteer representatives sitting on the festival’s advisory board.
In 1879, a committee of Chinese residents organised the Chinese community’s first large scale participation in the annual Bendigo Easter Fair, an event to which individual members of the community had always donated goods and funds. In 1882 a permanent collection of parade costumes and regalia were purchased through donations from the local Chinese. Further funds were raised to purchase the first parade dragon, Loong, who continued to parade until his retirement in 1970, when he was succeeded by Sun Loong.
Bendigo’s newest Imperial Dragon, Dai Gum Loong, was welcomed in 2019. At over 125 metres long, he is the world’s longest parading Imperial dragon.
The Bendigo Easter Festival continues to showcase Bendigo’s diverse culture and community through displays from the Bendigo Chinese Association and many other community groups who have contributed to it's success. The Gala Parade and Torchlight Procession are integral to the festival and provide opportunities for the community to express artistic talent and demonstrate cultural diversity.
In 2022 we celebrated the 150th Bendigo Easter Fair.