Vietnamese Tet Festival

Linh Luong enjoys a steaming hot bowl of pho at the 2013 Tet festival. 92283 Picture: JARROD POTTER

What\’s on

MORE than 20,000 people will celebrate the Vietnamese New Year with live music, lion dancing, a bonsai exhibition, games and carnival rides, traditional delicacies and fireworks.
– Sandown Racecourse, Princes Highway, Springvale. 21 to 22 February, 11am to 11pm. Entry fees will apply.

Polio support
SOUTH Eastern Region Polio Support Group will hold its first meeting for the year next month.
The peer support group’s members all have the late effects of polio and meet on the second Saturday of the month. They have guest speakers at some meetings.
– Springvale Senior Citizens Club, 3 The Crescent, Springvale. Saturday 14 February, 1.30pm to 3pm. Call Lyn on 9546 5497 between 10am and 5pm for more information.
Writing for Fun
CREATIVE writers can find a supportive group to share their work with at The Open Door.
It’s holding a fun, affordable, one-day creative writing workshop.
– The Open Door, 110 Ann Street, Dandenong. Thursday 5 February, 10am to 2pm. A $10 donation is suggested and a light lunch is provided. Bookings are essential. Call Trish or Jo on 9791 8664.
Green thumb tour
HERITAGE Hill will host monthly tours exploring the Benga gardens, originally planted and maintained by Dorothy Hart, and the Laurel Lodge gardens.
The tour includes the recent introduction of some rare and significant plants. A picnic will follow.
– Heritage Hill Museum and Historic Gardens, 66 McCrae Street, Dandenong. Thursday 19 February, noon to 2pm. Participation is $8, or $6 for seniors. Bookings are essential. Call 9793 4511 or email heritagehill@cgd.vic.gov.au.
Chinese New Year
DRAGONS, firecrackers and red pockets will bring in the Chinese New Year in Keysborough.
There’ll be Chinese dragon performances, a firecracker display and traditional food at the Somerfield Social Club event.
Children are encouraged to wear traditional Chinese dress and will receive lucky red pockets filled with chocolate coins.
– Somerfield Estate, Perry Road. The barbecue area off Clarendon Drive, near the lake. Sunday 15 February, 4pm.
Year of the Goat
THE Springvale Lunar New Year Festival attracts more than 60,000 people and will feature firecrackers, lion and dragon dances, food and beverage stations, art and craft stalls, amusement rides and more.
– Buckingham and Balmoral avenues, Springvale. Sunday 15 February, 10am to 10pm. Call City of Greater Dandenong on 8571 1000 for more information.
Exploring spirituality
THE Open Door’s workshops are back for the year and will include meditations, a sewing circle, tai chi, book club and creative writing.
– The Open Door, 110 Ann Street, Dandenong. Call Trish or Jo on 9791 8664 for more information.
Bowling barefoot
BAREFOOT bowling sessions are returning to Noble Park.
Bring friends and enjoy prizes, drinks at bar prices and a sausage sizzle.
– Noble Park Bowls Club, 46 to 56 Moodemere Street, Noble Park. Fridays, 6pm. The $7 fee includes tuition and equipment. Call Reg Vernon on 0428 647 540 or email rwdlvernon@bigpond.com.
Strategic Hot Mess
THIS free Tessa Broadby and Ashlea English exhibition will be part display, part performance and part discussion.
There’ll be guided tasks, games, scores and more with these Heritage Hill artists-in-residence.
– Heritage Hill, 66 McCrae Street, Dandenong. Until 13 February. Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm, and the first Sunday of the month, noon to 4pm.
Rangers take on Spirit
THE Dandenong Rangers boasts some of the most talented female basketballers in the world.
They’ll play the Bendigo Spirit, Adelaide Lightning, West Coast Waves and Townsville Fire at home in the coming month.
– Dandenong Stadium, 270 Stud Road, Dandenong. Sunday 15 February, 5pm. Tickets are $14 for adults, $7 for children and concession and $35 for families of two adults and three children. Call Dana Ivanovich on 9794 7192 or email events@dandenongstadium.com.au for more information.
Nature opens up
ALEX Wilkie Nature Reserve is hosting free open days where park rangers are available for guided tours.
– Alex Wilkie Nature Reserve, Mackay Street, Springvale South. Fridays 6, 13, 20 and 27 February, 9am to 3pm. Sunday 15 February, 10am. Bookings are essential. Call 8571 1702 for more information.
Art on show
GABI Mika-McNaughton’s new exhibition 42.65528° S , 146.58750° E will feature forest landscape paintings.
There’s an opening night event from 6.30pm on Thursday 5 February.
– Walker Street Gallery and Arts Centre, corner Walker and Robinson streets, Dandenong. 5 to 28 February. Monday to Friday, 11am to 5pm and Saturday, 11am to 3pm.
Searching for truth
THE Befuddled exhibition will feature new collage works by Eddie Botha.
He was born and raised in South Africa and is trying to find his place in his new Australian home.
There’s an opening night event from 6.30pm on Thursday 5 February.
– Walker Street Gallery and Arts Centre, corner Walker and Robinson streets, Dandenong. 5 to 28 February. Monday to Friday, 11am to 5pm and Saturday, 11am to 3pm.
Waitangi Day
THIS celebration is not only about the Waitangi Treaty signing in 1840, which guaranteed New Zealand’s Maori people land rights, it is also about the country’s culture and will feature performances, food and drink stalls, rides and more.
– Hemmings Park, 61-75 Princes Highway, Dandenong. 7 February, 9am to 7pm. Entry is free but there is a charge for some rides.
All about orchids
THE Dandenong and District Orchid Club welcomes novice to advanced growers and presents guest speakers on various topics.
– Dandenong and District Agricultural Society administration building, Greaves Reserve, Bennet Street, Dandenong. Friday 13 February, 7pm for an 8pm start. Entry is free. Membership is $20 per year. Email menew@bigpond.com or call Ron Daniell on 0412 188 263 for more information.
Lions Summer Festival
THIS event will feature live music, cultural performances, a talent quest, multicultural food stall, rides and more.
A highlight will be a fireworks display on Saturday night.
– Burden Park, corner Heatherton and Springvale roads, Springvale South. Friday 20 February, 5pm to 11pm. Saturday 21 February, 11am to 11pm. Sunday 22 February, 11am to 4pm. Call Ashley Lewis on 0418 380 555 for more information.
Stayin’ Alive
THE Australian Bee Gees Show is returning for a new show, The Past and Present Tour.
It looks at the careers of The Brothers Gibb through song and multimedia and will feature two parts and costume changes defining the eras.
– Drum Theatre, corner Lonsdale and Walker streets, Dandenong. Saturday 25 April. Visit www.drumtheatre.com.au or call 8571 1666.
Global food extravaganza
DANDENONG Market will host the World Food Fare, with cuisines and entertainment influenced by some of the world’s most important river systems.
There’ll be outdoor hawker market stalls, canopied stands, bain maries, hot and cold offerings, sizzling hot plates, sweets and savouries and cooking demonstrations in The Kitchen.
Entry is free and free parking is available.
– Dandenong Market, 16-46 Cleeland Street, Dandenong. Sunday 1 March, 10am to 7pm.
Tea and history
THE Heritage Hill historic precinct features three preserved buildings in two acres of landscaped gardens.
A tour takes in the gardens, Laurel Lodge and Benga Lodge and is designed to provide an insight into the families who lived at the property and Dandenong’s rich cultural history.
Bookings are essential as numbers are strictly limited.
– Heritage Hill Museum and Historic Gardens, 66 McCrae Street, Dandenong. Thursday 26 February, noon to 2pm. The tour is $16, or $14 with a seniors discount. Call 8571 1702 for bookings or more information.
Open studio
HERITAGE Hill artists in residents throw open their studio doors on the first Sunday of the month.
Guests are welcome to visit the artists to observe their practice and discuss their work, including Motoko Katsuta Kitano in February.
– Heritage Hill Museum and Historic Garden, 66 McCrae Street, Dandenong. Sunday 1 February, 1pm to 3pm. Bookings are encouraged. Call Heritage Hill on 9793 4511 or email heritagehill@cgd.vic.gov.au.
Hazaras in art
HAZARA Culture is an exhibition by local Afghan artist Hadi Rahimi and features works in pencil, pen and oil painting.
It celebrates Hazara culture, presenting faces of peace, happiness and humanity.
– Heritage Hill Museum and Historical Gardens, 66 McCrae Street, Dandenong. Until 13 February. Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm and the first Sunday of the month, noon to 4pm.
Floriography
FOUR Chisholm Institute Certificate IV in Photo Imaging students have each produced four works to the floriography theme to be shown in art boxes on McCrae Street.
They familiarised themselves with the Heritage Hill gardens to create images that present a perspective of their heritage and tranquillity.
– Heritage Hill Museum and Historical Gardens, 66 McCrae Street, Dandenong. Until 13 February. Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm, and on the first Sunday of the month, noon to 4pm.
Travertine stone
LOCAL artist Mohammad Ali Ramazani makes sculptures and decorative vessels from stone, often using hand cutting, chipping and sanding techniques to perfect the shape of his forms.
His works are often viewed as classic garden sculptures but will be taken out of context and arranged in a unique way for this exhibition.
– Heritage Hill Museum and Historical Gardens, 66 McCrae Street, Dandenong. Until 13 February. Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm, and on the first Sunday of the month, noon to 4pm.
Baby Bounce
THIS free early literacy program is designed to help children aged under two explore language through stories, songs and rhymes.
It can help them develop motor skills confidence and is an opportunity for parents to socialise.
– Dandenong Library, Level 2, 225 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong. Wednesdays from 11 February to 25 March, 10.30am to 11am. Call 1300 630 920 for more information.

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