There’s something always happening at St Kilda, the seaside suburb just four miles from downtown Melbourne. After all, it’s the beach resort of choice for Melburnians so the place is buzzing all day long. But St Kilda is also home to many major annual events which give the resort an extra dash of pizzazz. Here’s a look at some of the most vibrant and colourful of St Kilda festivals.
The largest of these is the St Kilda Festival. It’s been on the up and up since beginning in 1981 and now attracts over half a million young people each year to enjoy the music of around 50 bands. Here you can enjoy free live music and lots of fun things to do in a wonderful carnival atmosphere.
The St Kilda Festival is traditionally held on the second Sunday in February and focuses on showcasing live Australian music along with family entertainment.
St Kilda also hosts the gay Pride March which is part of Melbourne’s Midsumma Festival in early February. Since 1996, the Gay Pride March has been held in Fitzroy Street; with the balcony of the Prince of the Wales Hotel being the viewing point of choice.
The procession comprises up to 50000 participants and sets off from the Ian Johnson Oval and ends in the Catani Gardens, the scene of party well into the night.
St Kilda is also home to the many venues of the Melbourne Underground Film Festival as well as hosting its own St Kilda Film Festival in May. The latter introduces Melburnian film buffs to the best of the world’s cinematic offerings.
St Kilda Film Festival starts off with a grand opening night screening at the historic Astor Theatre and then features five days of festival screenings. The George Palace Cinemas’ Bar in the George Palace Cinemas Complex assumes the role of the St Kilda Film Festival Club for the event.
Another artistic St Kilda festival is the St Kilda Writers Festival with a program featuring local, state and national literary talents. The event comprises workshops, panel discussions, showcases and the Writers’ Market.
And let’s not forget the regular events, especially the markets. The most famous is the St Kilda Esplanade Arts & Crafts Market. Held every Sunday, the market features around 150 stalls hawking a variety of original art and handcrafts. Hours are from 10am to 5pm. In addition, there are the Shirt & Skirt Market held every Sunday, from 10am to 4pm at the St Kilda Primary School, the St Kilda Beach Night Market on Thursday nights during summer from 5pm to 10pm in the O’Donnell Gardens Acland Street, and the Veg Out Farmer’s Market on the first Saturday of every month from 8am – 12.30pm at Peanut Farm Reserve.
So before you head to St Kilda check the events pages online or in the local media. You may well find a festival or event that you can enjoy. If you decide to stay down there, you’ll find a great selection of St Kilda hotels to choose from including the Novotel Melbourne St Kilda and the Seasons Botanic Gardens Melbourne.