Today the wife and I may a trip up to Bendigo to see the yearly Easter Parade held there. Bendigo is one of my favorite cities in all of Australia so I sure wasn’t going to miss this parade. The Bendigo Easter Parade began in 1871 to raise money for a local hospital and has been ran annually ever since making the parade the oldest parade in Australia. The large Chinese community that moved to Bendigo during the gold rush years began participating in the parade in 1893 and ever since then has been the most prominent contributors to the parade which includes the world’s longest imperial dragon, Sun Loong which is without a doubt the star of the parade. We figured since this parade has happened annually since 1871 they should be pretty good at putting a parade on by now and we weren’t disappointed.
The first thing we had to worry about is finding a place to park. The whole downtown area of Bendigo was shut down and any parking places near downtown were filled up. Here is a tip for anyone going to the parade next year, park at the train station. There was plenty of spaces there and there is no parking meter. The walk downtown from the train station is a short one.
As you can see it was quite busy once we did get to downtown:
This picture is from when we were standing in front of the old city post office building that you can see pictured below from when we crossed the street:
As you can see it was just an absolute perfectly, beautiful day out today for the parade. You couldn’t ask for better weather. After taking the above picture we decided that this spot was perfect place to view the parade from. While we waited for the parade to begin I took a few more shots of some nearby buildings. Here is the old Shamrock Hotel building:
The Shamrock Hotel is a beautiful building and during Bendigo’s gold rush days beginning in the 1860’s it was the place to stay at the time for all the wealthy and powerful people who visited Bendigo. The wealthy and powerful may not be flocking to the Shamrock anymore since it is now run by Comfort Inn, but it is still a beautiful building to visit.
The gold rush wealth brought Bendigo much prosperity which can still be seen today in the historical architecture that still makes up the city. Right behind us for example was the ornate Beehive Building:
This building once housed the Bendigo gold buyers stores and the stock exchange. Today it houses a variety of stores in downtown Bendigo. Just across the street from us was the Bendigo War Memorial that houses the names of all of Bendigo’s war dead:
A sobering place to visit when you see how many names just from Bendigo are housed in the memorial. Anyway now was not the time for sobering thoughts, but for having a good time as the parade was about to start.
Next Posting: 2007 Easter Parade – Part 2