Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Funny Flora

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It’s April, which besides all the pranks going on, it’s the start of the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.  What’s with putting International in every festival and show? The only thing I know about the Flower show is that I noticed the parking lot underneath was full and loads of people bustling around at 9AM this morning. As for the comedy…

This year’s international headliner is Janeane Garofalo, in which I haven’t heard anything from her in about 10 years.  All of her shows have sold out so apparently she is appealing to an audience.

It’s hard to make heads or tail of which shows are good. The Age has a small summary of interesting shows but as they are one of the sponsors, I can’t see them saying any of those shows are crap.

links

Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show

April 1- April 5, Carlton Gardens

Melbourne International Comedy Festival

April 1-April 26

Avalon International Airshow

airshowI have to admit this year’s airshow looks pretty good.  Various news outlets throughout the past week have shown Eric Scott carefully flying his Go Fast Jet Pack around Geelong.  People have been trying to “perfect” jet pack technology for decades with very little progress.  I have fond memories of watching The Rocketeer, thinking the day will come soon where we can all wear jetpacks. Well, that day is still far off and I think the general problem is people are too heavy for something wearable to fly them anywhere.  Still, even if it’s only for little over a minute, it must be a thrill to fly a jet pack.

Other highlights of the show are the competing A380s for Qantas and the 777-300ER for V Australia, as well as the final viewing of the RAAF’s F111’s before they go into retirement.  Looking at the weather report, it looks like Saturday and Sunday are going to be pretty bad, so Friday looks like a good bet to go see the show, where they will be doing a night alight finale show.

Avalon Australian International Air Show

March 13-15, Avalon Airport, Lara

Adults $50

link

Moomba Parade 2009: The Next Generation

Moomba 079 I’m a sucker for parades. I’m not sure why, perhaps as a child I was deprived of parades. Who knows?

This year’s parade was being billed as more classy and modern than previous years. Seemed very similar to previous years and I reckon none of them were as good as 2002’s Moomba Parade which involved actual trams being decorated in various designs. Still, I think this year entertained sheerly for the amount of random groups.

OK, you have the various schools, makes sense. Dance companies, sure why not. Various cultural groups (Turks, Chinese), still good.  Then came religious groups, Hare Krishnas followed by Buddhists. OK,  random but sure why not. Then came the Austrek Star Trek Fans group consisting of 6 or so of the nerdiest trekkies dressed in uniforms.  What the? Although to be fair, each of them wore a uniform consisting of a different series/rank. At that point, I think everyone concluded that any group can be accepted into the parade.

After that, two groups called the 501st Legion and Star Walking Inc. followed and everyone bowed down to Lord Vader. If you didn’t the army of storm troopers following him would make you. Alright, maybe not but very entertaining. How bout Aussie bloggers for next year’s parade? I do admit I’d love to dress up in a Star Trek uniform. Other highlights were the natural bodybuilders and  Melbourne Taxi Drivers. The taxi drivers were a bit odd  and perhaps they needed some taxi props. Star Wars people had a sword fight, bodybuilders flexed, the taxi drivers sort of jived around.

I don’t see any instuctions on the thatsmelbourne site for how to enter parade but I’ll definitely have to remind myself next year to look it up. What would a group of Melbourne bloggers do though? Play with our keyboards?

Moomba 104 Moomba 115 Moomba 100 Moomba 098 Moomba 077

More photos on Flickr

Moomba Waterfest 2009

moombaaniMoomba, a festival for no reason other than having a festival. No ethnic reason, no holiday, just a bunch of fun things to do and according to thatsmelbourne.com.au, it’s Australia’s largest free festival.

I see that Augie March, with the recent hit song “One Crowded Hour” is playing on Friday, The Galvatrons (“When we were Kids”) on Saturday, and a few other local bands over the long weekend. There’s of course, the waterskiing and wakeboarding which always seems to amaze me at how they are able to go into the Yarra river and live to tell the story. Ratatouille is playing on Saturday night at the Starlight Cinema. The Birdman Rally on Sunday is always good for a laugh and on Monday the Moomba parade.  From Saturday to Monday night there will be fireworks on the Yarra. All for free.

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Moomba Waterfest

March 6-9, Areas around the Yarra River

link

Melbourne Motor Show 2009

toyota_hc-cv_conceptWell, it’s coming up to “Marvelous March” which is kicked off with the annual motor show.  It’s going to be the toughest year in a while for many of the auto manufacturers, so hopefully they put some cars on display that will put them back on the track to profitability. According to a friend working at Holden, GM/Holden is cutting back on expenses this year and employees aren’t getting free tickets to this year’s show.

I went to the last couple of shows and found it was almost the same as the previous year’s show. The complaints from this blog going back a few years continue as many of the cars were locked.  The show was also very focused on family cars, and not too exciting although seeing the Lamborghini’s and Ferraris always do the job.  The biggest highlight for me was having my face massaged by a beautiful women but I digress.

Looks like hybrids and smaller/fuel efficient cars are the focus this year.  The Toyota HC-CV Camry concept seems like a good cross between convential Camry styling with a slight futuristc look.  Honda has their own hybrid to compete. I guess if you are in the market to buy a new car, it’s a helpful show but I probably would wait 5 years in between shows, although in 5 years time there may be dramatically less car companies on the road.

Melbourne Motor Show

Melbourne Exhibition Center, Now until March 9

Adults: $19  ($17 in 2006, $16.50 in 2005)

link

Public Transport rally this Tuesday

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) are holding a rally Tuesday lunchtime (from 11.30 am, speakers begin at Midday). It will be held at Parliament House (Bourke and Spring Streets) and will coincide with the first sitting day of parliament for the year.

A coalition of community groups, led by the Victorian Water Forum, is holding a rally to call on the Brumby government to listen to the people and provide real solutions on water, climate change and public transport. PTUA is supporting this call, and will be attending.

Come along to the front steps of Parliament in your lunch hour and stand up for better public transport and real action on climate change.

See the PTUA website for more information.

Chinese New Year

Kung Hei Fat Choy y’all. The Chinese know how to celebrate a new year. While we have our measley few hours of drinking champagne, where we pay outrageous prices to even get into a pub, the Chinese have two weeks of celebrations with lots of great food, very loud firecrackers, and of course the dragon. This Sunday, February 1st, head down to Chinatown to see martial arts demonstrations, cultural shows, and some good food. Hopefully, it will cool down a bit by then.

Chinese New Year Celebrations

Chinatown, Melbourne

Sunday, February 1

link

Australian Open 2009

Margaret Court Arena Panorama

Last year’s Australian Open painted the story of two unseeded, not as well known players competing in the final. Tsonga was a chilling reminder of a young Mohammed Ali fighting his way through his matches as the underdog. His opponent the very funny Djokovic, was incredibly good at doing imitations of Sharapova and Nadal serving.

There doesn’t seem to be much of that this year. The seeded players are playing their expected parts as protaginists. Again we have ethnic fights with the capsicum spray replaced with plastic chairs. We had Hewitt holding our chances last year, and this year an even more controversial Dokic proving that Aussies do give everyone a fair chance.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the crappy management of Channel 7.  The Open is filmed in HD, which is broadcast to international markets but not Australia. Channel 7 decided to cut costs and is broadcasting it’s games locally in SD. Every other channel strives to broadcast sports in HD but 7 has shown it doesn’t care about its audience. 7 has the normal SD channel as well as the HD channel which it could broadcast games on but won’t air different games on the channels. Today was probably the worst moment when they cut to the news in the middle of the Federer match. In some states, they interrupted with the news and an episode of Hot Property.

Fortunately, we are living in the internet age, and there is a wonderful site called Channelsurfing.net which shows the games on Rod Laver, Hisense, Margaret Court, and some of the show courts. All live, no commentary and almost the same quality as 7.

Still nothing beats going to the Open if you are in Melbourne. A $29 ground pass gives you almost 10 hours of games. There is no better value for money in sports.

Links:

Australian Open 2009

Channelsurfing.net

Victoria Street Lunar Festival

One of the more popular festivals in the City of Yarra is the Lunar New Year Festival located in Richmond. This Sunday from 11AM experience traditional Chinese & Vietnamese food, dancing and art. Victoria St. will be closed between Hoddle and Church Street, so those going to IKEA will need to seek a alternate route. It’s just the start to the festival season with the Australian Open starting Monday and Chinese New Year celebrations in the city next weekend.

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Victoria Street Lunar New Year Festival

Victoria Street, Richmond

Sunday Jan 18, 11AM-10PM

PDF link

Southern Star Observation Deck

Big Wheels Keep on Turnin'

Although very similar sounding to a location you’d expect on the starship Enterprise, it’s actually that huge ferris wheel in Docklands. As of tomorrow, it will be open for business so you can get that great view of…umm…the docks? I’m still not convinced on Docklands as a city destination for entertainment. Lygon Street=Italian Feel, Chapel Street=Ritzy Feel, Swanston Street=Student Feel, Docklands=No feeling at all. Despite being the red headed step child of Melbourne, only time will tell with the addition of an ice rink and a Costco soon.

Like the Eureka Tower, expect to see a marriage proposal on tomorrow night’s news (Adrock, you should have held out a bit longer).

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Southern Cross Observation Deck [via The Age]

Adult: $29 / $58 (no waiting in line)

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