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Wollongong set to party for Australia Day

Last year's Australia Day Aquathon at Wollongong Harbour. PHOTO: Kembla Joggers

Last year’s Australia Day Aquathon at Wollongong Harbour. PHOTO: Kembla Joggers

WOLLONGONG Harbour will come alive on Saturday January 26 with Australia Day celebrations.

There’s something for everyone at the family-friendly event. The day kicks off at 8am when participants aged 6 to 60 will compete in the annual Australia Day Aquathon.

Activities will continue around the Wollongong Harbour foreshore area across the day. These include the action-packed Illawarra Rotaract Hospital Bed Run, sand sculpting, and a yacht display and regatta.

In Osborne Park there will be amusement rides for the kids, an animal farm, and food and novelty stalls. Bring your toddler dressed up as a fairy or their favourite superhero and they can join in a parade at 4.30pm. Plus, there will be loads of entertainment for the whole family on two stages in Lang and Osborne Parks.

The day’s highlight is the annual fireworks display. Thousands of people are expected to line the foreshore area to watch the impressive show at 9pm.

“This family-friendly day has something for everyone and continues to be one of Council’s most popular annual events. I’m really looking forward to celebrating our community, and the wonderful diversity of people who live, work and play in Wollongong,’’ Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said.

“Come on down to Belmore Basin and soak up the fun of this great day. I’d like to remind people though, that Council is working with the NSW Police on this event and anti-social behaviour or the consumption of alcohol will not be tolerated.’’

Drive to JJ Kelly Park and catch a free bus between the park and the WIN Entertainment Centre. The bus will run every 15 minutes from 12 noon until 11pm on 26 January. The free Gong Shuttle will run from 6am-11pm and the bus will be re-routed via Corrimal Street and Georges Place due to road closures.

For more information on the day’s activities in Belmore Basin, Lang Park and Osborne Park call (02) 4227 7111.

Australia Day Highlights
8-11.30am    Australia Day Aquathon
11am-6pm    Stand Up Paddle Board Hire
12noon-1pm WAVE FM Thong Throwing
8.45pm         Circus Monoxide & Outrigger Canoe Display
9pm              Fireworks Spectacular, Wollongong Harbour

Osborne Park: The McDonald’s Children’s Stage
12.30pm      Professor Wallace’s Puppet Theatre
2.30pm        Ronald McDonald & Friends Adventure Show
3pm             Live Reptile Show
4.30pm        Fairies & Super Heroes Parade. Children are invited to come dressed & join the parade.

Out and About
10.30am     Citizenship Ceremony sponsored by BlueScopeWIN Community Partners. The largest citizenship ceremony of the year, at Wollongong Town Hall. Features the Australia Day Ambassador address.
2.30pm       Air Show by Southern Biplane Adventures
4-7pm        Circus Monoxide – Have a GO Zone

Lang Park: Highlights from the Telstra Main Stage – Wave Fm MC
3.45pm      Elvis & Footloose Rockers
4.30pm      The Gong Factor Talent Quest
8pm           Introduction of Australia Day Award Winners

Flagstaff Hill
10am-5pm  Australian Kiteflyers Society
10am-7pm  Scouts Illawarra Skills Tester

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limted), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications.

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