Post Office Gallery
51-67 Pall Mall, Bendigo VIC 3550
|06 Mar 20 - 29 Aug 20|
The first Easter Fair was held in Bendigo (then Sandhurst) in 1871; two days of fun and frolic in charity’s cause. Now a significant tourist attraction, the event is highly anticipated by locals and visitors to the city and in 2020 will run for the 150th time. Over time attractions and entertainments have come and gone yet, longstanding community connections have endured, forging iconic traditions through shared endeavour, festivity and cultural exchange.
Emulating an English village fair the event was initiated as a means to unite a diverse settler community as well as raise essential funds for the local hospital and Benevolent Asylum who provided healthcare and material aid to citizens in need. Its enduring success, as a platform for public connection and collective fundraising has seen the annual event run continuously through wars, drought, times of social change and the occasional rainy Easter.
Over the years the event has featured sports competitions, sideshows, carnival rides, food vendors, art shows, car cavalcades and a variety of creative fundraising initiatives including the Ladies Charity Bazaar, Popular Girl competition, spinning wheels and lucky envelopes. These and other traditions such as the torchlight parade, waking of the dragon and the annual Grand Parade, have been forged through enduring contributions by community and cultural groups including local Fire Brigades, Pipe and brass bands and the Bendigo Chinese Association whose striking dragon and lion displays are now synonymous with the event.
Bendigo Easter Fair: amusement, charity and tradition is an exhibition of photographs, moving image and memorabilia sharing the entertainment, fundraising initiatives and traditions cemented over 150 Easter Fairs.
Read Clare Needham's Post Office Gallery Blog post "In charity’s cause: Bendigo Easter Fair"