10 fantastic Easter events for a ripping holiday

Easter is pending and if you’re planning a getaway here are some great ideas for a truly memorable Easter holiday in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the USA. Of course feel free to review last year’s suggestions too at this link.

1. The Royal Easter show

* Sydney
www.eastershow.com.au
If you’re inspired by the pending nuptials in England and want something of the Royal variety head to Sydney for the biggest Easter event in the country. Held from 14 April to 27 April it features animals, competitions, entertainment and showbags and attracts 900,000 visitors. The idea of the show is to bring the country to the city.

* Auckland
www.royaleastershow.co.nz
The Kiwi version of the Easter Show, 21 to 25 April, is a good option if you’re over in NZ. And we hope you do get there this year to help them through a tough year after the Christchurch earthquake.  There’s wine, cats, equestrian, carnival and street entertainment to enjoy if you do.

2. Easterfest (Australian Gospel Music Festival), Toowoomba (QLD)
www.easterfest.com
The Toowoomba music celebration held every Easter (22-24 April this year) has become one of the more meaningful places to spend the weekend while still having fun. It’s Australia’s largest drug and alcohol fee festival and it does have a Christian focus. Don’t let that put you off though, this might be good clean fun but there’s plenty of pumping action. There’s free style BMX, skate boarding and motorcross and a host of bands from across the world from rock to hip hop and everything in between. Toowoomba had a horrific summer when an inland tsunami crashed through the town and coming will help the town recover from the floods. Check out the video if you’re not convinced:

Easterfest Trailer 1 – 2011 from Easterfest on Vimeo.


3. Julia Creek’s Dirt and Dust festival (QLD
)
www.dirtndust.com
The population of Queensland’s remote town of Julia Creek will blossom from 500 to 2000 this weekend (15-17 April) – that’s right they get in the week before Easter so you’ll have to head there fast if you want to see it in 2011. If not, put it on the calendar for next year. People come here to take part in the triathlon, bet on the races, watch the action at the rodeo, get a beer at the pub and listen to the music events. It’s all a bit of fun, and there’s plenty of dirt and dust for everyone.

Check out this video by Aussie Bum:

4. Uladulla Blessing of the Fleet Festival (NSW)
www.blessingofthefleet.info
A couple of years ago I headed down to NSW for this event and it was quite a bit of fun. The festival celebrates the tradition of literally blessing the fishing trawlers and crews that head out onto the high seas. A priest sprinkles holy water over the boats, says a few prayers and the merriment begins. Uladulla has an Italian community and St Peter, the Patron Saint of fisherman, is part of the activities and paraded around amongst the floats. The weekend includes a Festival Princess competition, plenty of good food, fireworks and some fun activities such as the Tug-o-war and Greasy Pole Challenge.

5. Easter in the Country, Roma (QLD)
www.easterinthecountry.com.au
This is the event I’m heading out to this year, with a side trip to the beautiful Carnarvon Gorge – will send some pictures next week. he iconic event at the Roma festival is the goat races which I’m really looking forward to, bu there’s also a rodeo, Easter egg hunt, Mud Derby, country markets and art exhibitions. It’s held 21-25 April. Might see you there?

6. Lightning Ridge Easter Festival (NSW)
www.visitnsw.com
Cries of giddyup can be heard in this outback NSW town but it’s not horses their cheering on but goats. The iconic event the Australian Goat Racing Championships is one of three major parts of this festival that also includes a rodeo and horse racing. But there’s also street entertainment, street stalls, art exhibitions and fireworks. Come and enjoy from 22-24 April.

7. Salzburg Easter Festival, Austria
www.osterfestspiele-salzburg.at/en
The magical city of Mozart is a fabulous place to head to for Easter if you’re looking for a weekend break over in Europe particularly if you like opera and classical music. This year’s event takes place from 16-25 April.

8. Dyngus Day, Poland
It can still be quite cold at Easter in Poland so if you’re here for Easter watch out – Dyngus means wet and traditionally boys will wake girls on this day with a cold bucket of water or by striking them with switches! Although these days anyone is fair game. This also happens in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.

9. Scoppio del Caro, Florence (Italy)
If you want Easter to go off with a bang this year, head to the city of the Renaissance for the Explosion of the Cart. It takes place every Easter Sunday in front of the Piazza del Duomo when fireworks in an ox cart are lit to symbolize the holy fire.

10. The White House Easter Egg Roll, Washington
For those wanting to spend Easter with the Obamas you can head to the White House lawn on Easter Monday (25 April) and roll an egg. The celebrations date back to 1814 and today the President and his wife, cabinet secretaries and other personalities and celebrities join in the fun.

Easter is usually a beautiful time of year so if you don’t get to a festival, event or celebration, then simply enjoy the great weather and the chocolate. Happy Easter everyone!

——

Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. There’ll be an update added every other Friday, so keep tuning in to keep your travel dreams alive! If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact me, Jo, at blog@vipbackpackers.com

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