GUIDE: Complete list of the Australia Day activities
WHATEVER your views, there is no denying that Australia Day brings with it an astounding assortment of events and activities.
Read on to find out what’s happening in your area this January 26.
Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremonies
The headline act of any Australia Day celebration is the awards ceremony which recognises the hard work residents.
This is followed by the citizenship ceremony, where the region’s newest citizens are officially welcomed to the community.
Lockyer – Gatton
This year’s ceremonies in the Lockyer Valley will be held at the Gatton Shire Hall from 8.30am until noon.
There will be entertainment and classic Aussie foods, and champion boxer Jeff Horn will be serving as the Lockyer Valley’s 2020 Australia Day Ambassador.
Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP by calling 1300 005 872 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, January 20.
Lockyer – Esk
For those in the Somerset region, ceremonies will be held at the Somerset Civic Centre from 9–11am.
The presentation will feature a live performance of the national anthem by Ipswich performer Chris Taylor, and a country picnic-style morning tea for attendees.
Olivia Hargroder will be the Australia Day Ambassador for the ceremony.
Swimming competitions and pool parties
The best thing to do in the hot, dry conditions is to dive into celebrations at your closest pool.
The Gatton Swimming Club is hosting its annual Australia Day 800m Swimming Classic carnival, with $800 in cash prizes up for grabs.
Nominations close on Tuesday, January 21, so visit the club’s website to register: http://www.gattonswimmingclub.net/Meets.htm.
Gates will open at 7.45am, before the first events start at 8.30am.
The pool will be closed to the public in order to host the carnival.
For those looking for a more relaxing swim, the Esk, Lowood, and Toogoolawah pools, along with the Kilcoy Aquatic Centre, will be hosting free pool parties.
The activities on offer will vary between sites, but will include music, inflatable fun, water slides, games, and much more.
All four pools will be open from 10am or 11am, through to 5pm.
Support those in need by heading down to the Bellevue Hotel in Coominya for a day of family friendly fun.
Doors will open at 10am, and highlights during the day will including the toad race, thong-toss competition, the second annual pie-eating contest, and a spit roast dinner from 5pm.
There’ll be prizes to win and goods to purchase, with all proceeds being donated towards those doing it tough due to the fires.
To find out more, call 5426 4125.
There’ll be lots of family fun to be had at the Withcott Hotel, including free face-painting and a jumping castle, egg and spoon races, a lamington-eating contest, thong throwing and lots more.
Raffles during the day will be raising money for the Salvation Army’s bushfire appeal, and the hotel will match every dollar raised.
Head to Plainland to celebrate the Aussie atmosphere.
Enjoy the Aussie menu, then settle in to make the most of the entertainment, with musician Adam Kilpatrick to perform from noon to 4pm, and again from 7–10pm.
The hotel’s fifth annual lamington-eating competition will also be on, offering a chance to win up to $250.
Races, competitions, and other events
Step back in time
Start the day with a big breakfast at the Laidley Pioneer Village, which has organised a range of events, challenges, and activities for the day.
There will be an emergency services challenge between the SES and Rural Fire Brigade, with a tug o’ war and the vintage water pump challenge.
Displays will include the Light Horse Troop, radio control toys, a ghost tour plus demonstrations in vintage woodworking and blacksmithing, as well as stage coach rides, cart rides, face-painting, the inflatable train, sandpit lucky dip and live music.
The Australia Day races at the Kilcoy Showgrounds will include a range of popular events, including traditional gallop races, mini-trot events, Fashions on the Field, and a new 120m professional footrace.
Gates will open at 10.30am, with and there will be catering throughout the day.
Entry will be free for children.
Find out more at: http://kilcoyraces.com/.
Day at the Village
Displays, demonstrations, music, stalls, entertainment, and all manner of activities will be on show at the Gatton & District Historical Village.
The Gatton Lapidary Club, Lockyer Valley Community Activities Shed, Light Horse Troop, Lockyer Antique Motor Association, and many will be present for the event.
The celebrations will start at 3.30pm in Helidon with a sausage sizzle and afternoon tea including lamingtons, scones with jam and cream, and ice blocks for the kids.
The younger visitors will be able to take part in the three-legged and egg and spoon races all afternoon, while the adults can try their luck at the ride-on mower race, putting competition, thong throwing, and the cow-pat throw.
The cow-pat record to be beaten is 18.5m, set in 2019.