2018 is a special year for the National Library of Australia as they celebrate their 50th year in existence.
Joining in the party is its resident café BOOKPLATE; renowned for its good food, beautiful Leonard French stained glass windows and relaxed atmosphere.
As part of the Enlighten festival, BOOKPLATE is set to host a series of events highlighting the fun and celebratory aspects of the month.
Starting off is the launch party on the 2nd March. ‘Switch on’ is free to the general public and set on the podium of the National Library. Here you can try BOOKPLATE‘s beverages and bites (available for purchase from the podium bars) while waiting for the night-time magic to happen. Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, will be officially switching on the switch that transforms the Parliamentary triangle into a night sea of illuminations, bringing the area alive at a time when normally no-one is out and about.
After this official launch has happened, Enlighten kicks off for a full week of lights, events and projections. BOOKPLATE will be serving giant pretzels and beverages (available for sale) every Friday and Saturday night during the festival from their podium bars. Picture live music, drinks and a giant pretzel on hand while you admire the architectural projections and wonder at the live (and brightly lit) performances.
For those of us that are early risers, the Balloon Spectacular is a must. Hot air balloons launch from Reconciliation Place and rise above the Parliamentary Triangle destined for wherever the wind will take them. This is quite a sight and something not to be missed. After the early wake up though, you may be feeling peckish or in need of some hot coffee. Indeed you can even sit at BOOKPLATE (which will be open from 7:30AM during the Balloon Spectacular) and see the balloons glide by as you enjoy your (very early) breakfast and favourite morning drink. Most locals know about this though, so avoid disappointment and make sure that you book in advance.
Finally, we reach the pinnacle of the month’s festivities as we celebrate everything ‘Canberra’ with Hit 104.7 Skyfire. The sky lights up for the 30th year and closes Enlighten with a (literal) bang. A regular event on Canberrans’ calendars; over 100,000 people are expected to descend on the Lake’s shores at the same time to witness the spectacle.
For those that don’t want to elbow their way to a good vantage point, BOOKPLATE is hosting a party on the night to experience the event in style. Starting at 6PM, local bands will be playing from the temporary ‘Grass Stage’ as guests are treated to a range of curated canapes from the open air lounge while they wait for the sky show to begin with drinks available for purchase. Don’t wait to get FOMO; just grab your tickets now before they sell out!
So, what events are you adding to your calendar this year?
What you need to know
BOOKPLATE is located within the National Library of Australia.
The standard operating hours are
Monday – Thursday 7:30AM to 5PM
Friday – 7:30AM to 4PM
Weekends – 9am to 4pm
Switch On – The official turning on the lights
Friday 2nd March
6.45PM to 7.45PM
Entertainment on the podium
Friday 9th March
Bands, Beverages and Bites – Nightly Entertainment
Saturdays 3rd and 10th March
7PM to 10PM
Breakfast Aloft – Balloon Spectacular
Opening daily 10 – 18 March from 7.30AM
Visit BOOKPLATE’s website for standard opening hours outside these dates
During the Festival BOOKPLATE fills quickly so we recommend making a booking
A Lit up Sky with the Party to Match – Skyfire 30
Saturday 17th March
From 6PM (fireworks begin at 8:30PM)
Tickets $70pp + booking fee 18+ only
Bookings are available here