The finishing touches are being put on the fun-filled plans for this Sunday’s Australia Day community celebrations around Wollongong Harbour.
The annual event kicks off at 8am with the Aquathon, and will conclude with a light show over Belmore Basin at 9pm.
“Our Australia Day event is always an enjoyable day out and one that’s popular with all our community members – plus some from further afield – who come along to enjoy the live music, events and activities,” Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said.
“This year we’ve got some great activities that’ll deliver some new experiences for those joining in the fun.”
We will acknowledge and award citizenship to 90 Wollongong residents in the Town Hall at 10am. At the Harbour, among the activities on offer is the Outback Extravaganza, which features whip cracking, a live sheep shearing demonstration and working dog display, a chainsaw sculpture display, on-road remote controlled model car racing and the annual Gun Battery March and Firing of the Cannons.
The 9pm light show will take place at Belmore Basin with best viewing spots along Brighton Lawn, north along Cliff Road and around Flagstaff Hill.
More than 40 LED search lights will illuminate the Harbour as part of the show. This includes lights on both breakwalls, the jetty and the foreshore. We’ll also have multi-coloured lighting creating effects on the old lighthouse and special vapour canons creating signature effects all set to a sound track.
We’ve also teamed up with Reverse Garbage to bring a loose parts play space to Australia Day. Kids are welcome to use different recycled items to build weird and wonderful things. A box and a broom handle might become a ship, or crates and cogs become a robot – all with a sustainable theme. There will be a treasure hunt with kids who identify all the items on the list earning a sustainable steel straw.
Parents and carers will also be able to get into the sustainable spirit in the kids zone with the Boomerang Alliance showing how to make bags using recycled materials.
“Council has a strong sustainability focus and we’re putting it at the forefront of what we do – including our events,” said Cr Bradbery.
“Not only are we encouraging people to bring along their water bottles and use one of the refill stations we will have at different points at the event, we’re also going to have bins for recycling and a giant metal whale frame that people will be encouraged to fill with garbage. This will help to drive home the message that what you throw away can end up in the ocean.”
There will also be a special recycling show targeted at littlies performed by the Jitter Bugs on the main stage in Osborne Park at 1.50pm.
Cr Bradbery said, as always, public transport was the best way to get to the Australia Day event.
Those who need to drive should make the most of the Australia Day park and ride that’s available from 12 noon to 11pm at JJ Kelly Park to the south. Or park at North Dalton Park (near the Surf Club) or at the Innovation Campus and use the shuttle pick up on Squires Way. Shuttle services will run approximately every 10 minutes.
Cr Bradbery encouraged everyone to come along and enjoy the community celebration. There would be activities throughout the day for people to watch or participate in. In addition, there will be a special parade at 7pm along Cliff Road featuring representatives from the local Rural Fire Service, as well as NSW Fire & Rescue and the SES. Members from Mt Keira RFS will also be doing a bucket collection for donations throughout the evening.
“Come along and cheer on these local heroes who have done so much for our community, and our neighbours who have been affected by the recent and ongoing bushfires,” he said.