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Ballarat revives the tradition of cemetery picnics with Cemetery National Picnic Day

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In what may seem a little mysterious – or perhaps even a little spooky to some – on Saturday 22nd May, Ballarat is hosting a one-day outdoor picnic event the city hasn’t seen since the 1800s.

The Cemetery National Picnic Day, located at the Ballarat New Cemetery, is inviting folks to experience anew what those in the 19th Century thought was a jolly good time; a lovely day in the sun reconnecting with loved ones who had passed away, surrounded by picturesque cemetery grounds.

A collaboration between The Ballarat Cemeteries and The Gatehouse Ballarat as a part of the Ballarat Heritage Festival, the event is a little more elaborate than just a rug, some damper and looking at funny headstones.

There will be live music performances, a small market to peruse around, picnic hampers catering to most dietaries, a treasure hunt, tombstone rubbing, and even a horse-drawn carriage ride to get you feeling really antiquated. For those looking for something prim and proper, high tea at The Gatehouse Ballarat is just a short walk away.

While you’re there, why not pop in on one of the historic tours across the day, covering subjects like the history of Ballarat New Cemetery, the World War I veterans who hailed from the city, the history of cremation in Victoria, and Ballarat’s rich Chinese heritage dating back over seven generations.

We can’t think of a better way to demystify death and the burial process than to enjoy the grounds and learn about its history.

THE DETAILS
WHAT: Cemetery National Picnic Day
WHERE: Ballarat New Cemetery, 1250 Doveton St N, Ballarat Central
WHEN: 10am-5pm, Saturday 22nd May 2021
MORE INFO: Ballarat Heritage Festival

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