A long weekend in Melbourne

Who says you need to get out of town to have a holiday? Stay within the boundaries of the CBD this Labour Day long weekend and enjoy the abundance of events our city has to offer. Here are a few suggestions to ensure you get the most out of the break.

Melbourne’s iconic Moomba Festival returns this March 12 to 14 with a jam-packed three-day program. Events will be held across five precincts in Birrarung Marr and Alexandra Gardens.

There will be two stages showcasing a variety of local talent, including acclaimed Melbourne band Alpine and drumming group Wadaiko Rindo, and impressive sporting feats on display on the river and at the skate park. A dedicated Kids Zone will offer creative activities for children of all ages, including musical performances, cooking classes, and craft workshops.

The Birdman Rally will take flight from the banks of the Yarra at noon on Sunday, and the spectacular Moomba Parade will wrap up the festival on Monday, carrying vibrant community-designed floats and a collection of performance groups down St Kilda Rd from 10.30am. Check out the full program at www.thatsmelbourne.com.au/moomba.

The Turkish Pazar Festival will set Queen Victoria Market (QVM) alight with culture and colour on Sunday, March 13. With a variety of traditional food, art and craft displays, performances by the Ottoman Mehter Band of Melbourne, and the opportunity to purchase a magic Turkish carpet, the Pazar Festival will transform QVM into a bazaar from 10am until 4pm.

If dining and drinking is on your agenda, Dutchess is hosting a five-course degustation on Saturday afternoon showcasing Cape Grim pasture-fed beef from the north-western tip of Tasmania paired with wines sourced from Yangarra Estate Vineyard in McLaren Vale. The team from Cape Grim will be on hand to explain their sustainable farming practices and share with diners the secret behind their mouth-watering beef.

Madame Brussels is hosting a Mad Hatter’s Marsanne Party in collaboration with Victorian wine label Tahbilk. Decadent desserts and free flowing Marsanne, served in various ways, will be on offer from 2pm. Arrive dressed in your finest tea party attire and ready to dive down the rabbit hole.

For the arts and music fans, pianist Alan Kogosowski will bring his remarkable rendition of work by master composer Chopin to Ruby’s Music Room for one night only from 8.30pm on Saturday, and the multi-award winning Matilda the Musical premieres at the Princes Theatre on Sunday night.

And catch Berlin-based artist Julian Rosefeldt’s Manifesto, an exhibition questioning the role of the artist in today’s society and featuring Australian actor Cate Blanchett, at ACMI before it finishes up on Monday.

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