Benalla Festival 2023 unveils exciting lineup

Benalla Festival Saturday at the Mural

In celebration of Benalla Rural City’s rich heritage and promising future, the Benalla Festival 2023 has unveiled an exciting lineup of events set to captivate residents and visitors alike.

With the theme ‘Past, Present, Future’, the festival promises a diverse range of activities, embodying the town’s vibrant spirit.

Benalla Rural City Mayor Bernie Hearn expressed her enthusiasm for this year’s Festival lineup.

“The Benalla Festival has always been a testament to our community’s unity and creativity,” Cr Hearn said.

“This year, we are delving into our roots, celebrating our present achievements, and looking forward to the possibilities that lie ahead. It’s an event that truly showcases the heart and soul of Benalla and our surrounding communities.”

The Chair of the Benalla Festival Advisory Committee Cr Justin King extended his heartfelt gratitude to the major sponsors, Benalla Rural City Council, Extons and Wangaratta-Benalla Motor Group, for their generous support.

Joining them are esteemed Friends of the Festival including Benalla Travel, Benalla Veterinary Clinic, Boumeester’s Bakery, Graeme Currie Electrical, Jenny Milner-Marsha Watson Pharmacy, Miller’s Benalla, RBR Refrigeration, Tree House Conveyancing, Smith Dosser Accountants, TAC L2P Program, and Winton Wetlands.

The 2023 Benalla Festival commences with an enchanting Diwali celebration at the Mural on 3 November, promising a night of vibrant celebrations, music, dance, laser light projections and delectable South Asian cuisine.

“This sets the tone for the first weekend with diverse activities that focus on our rural communities with events such as the Samaria Rose Farm Open Day, Riverview Classic Holden Collection, Tatong Tavern Twilight Garden Party, Tatong Market and More, Devenish Market, Devenish Silo Art of Honour, Benalla Auto Club open day at Winton Motor Raceway, Broken Creek Pop Up Choir, and Movie and Scones at Swanpool Cinema.

Events running on the first weekend in Benalla include a craft market and afternoon tea at the Benalla CWA, the much-loved Open Gardens featuring three spectacular gardens, Benalla Theatre Company free community Come and Strum afternoon, and the Benalla RSL Rooms Open Day.

The first weekend of events culminates with the Moorngag Music Stage and Hot Air Balloon Night Glow where the Balloon Association of Victoria will transform the night skies of Moorngag with a hot air balloon night glow featuring live music by local talented musicians.

For the final weekend (10-12 November) festivities will focus on Benalla, including two events on the Friday, a special children’s story time at the Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop Learning Centre themed ‘Past, Present, Future’, followed by a FReeZA – Live music at The Shed event for 12- to 19-year-olds, while adults might enjoy Frock Up Friday at the Benalla Art Gallery. Bookings are essential for these free events.

Coinciding with Taro liyama’s incredible cardboard platypus installation, the Benalla Art Gallery is also hosting a talk by Geoff Williams from the Australian Platypus Conservancy followed by a walk around Lake Benalla.

Across Saturday and Sunday, the events keep coming with a Remembrance Day Service at Benalla’s Cenotaph, the Champions League Basketball 3X3, Benalla Golf Club November Tournament, Yarrawonga Cup at Benalla Racing Club, A Day In The Gardens Market, and the much-anticipated Benalla National & International Short Film Festival.

Room at the Table are putting on a free afternoon of boardgames at Brick by Brick, Marangan Masonic Centre will hold an open day, there will be Live Art Benalla at the Mural, Today Tomorrow Foundation are holding a Scavenger Hunt, and the Airport Precinct is hosting an Open Day.

On the final Saturday Bridge Street will be closed as Wangaratta and Benalla Motor Group host a Show and Shine themed ‘Past; Present; Future’. This will be followed by the much-loved Benalla by the Lake entertainment, a community party featuring live music, children’s activities, a spectacular fireworks display, food trucks, licenced bar and more.

Mayor Hearn added, “The Benalla Festival is an opportunity for us to come together, celebrate our shared history, and embrace the future with optimism. I encourage everyone to join us in this celebration of community and culture.”

For detailed event information and updates, please visit the official festival website at

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