Gunnedah will have one of its biggest Australia Days ever on January 26.
Events will take place at Gunnedah Memorial Pool Complex, Gunnedah Rugby Club and near The Mackellar Centre.
Celebrations will start early on January 25, with the Australia Day Awards at the Gunnedah Town Hall. This year’s ambassador two-time world superbike champion Warwick Nowland will attend the dinner at 7pm and other Australia Day festivities.
On Australia Day, activities will start nice and early, with a triathlon at 6am. Competitors will start at the pool complex.
This year, the annual raft and craft race will be replaced by a land race at Gunnedah Rugby Club at 8.30am and an inflatable race at the pool from 2.30pm.
A church service will be held under the gums at the Dorothea Mackellar memorial in South Street at 9.30am, followed by a citizenship ceremony at 10am.
Entry to the pool will be free from 9.30am on Australia Day. There will also be a jumping castle and rides and family fun games including tug-o-war, gumboot throwing and face painting from 3pm. Animation Happy Feet will be played on the Optus big screen at 7pm.
Aussiefest will run for the second year at the rugby club, with touch footy games at 9.30am and a pet parade and dog sprints at 10.30am. The sprints include a title for working dogs, pig dogs and “the town mutt”, with registrations open at 10am. The Dash for Cash and Backyard Cricket start at 11am, and Gunnedah’s Strongest Man and Woman competition will take place at 1pm.
Australia Day Committee chair Rob Hooke said the weekend was about local communities coming together to celebrate.
“Our community is rallying behind each other during this dry time, and the fun will continue despite the ongoing drought,” Cr Hooke said.
“It’s gearing up to be one of our biggest Australia Day programs yet.”
The Water Tower Museum and The Mackellar Centre will be open from 10am-2pm, and a free movie screening of Kangaroo Jack will show at the Civic Theatre at 12.30pm.
Carroll, Mullaley, Tambar Springs are joining in the Aussie spirit, with celebrations in each village throughout the day (see program for list of events).
The fun continues on Sunday, with a skills challenge at the Australia Day Chess Tournament at the Smithurst Theatre. Registrations open at 9am, with six, 25-minute rounds.
The full Australia Day program, including business house, village, community and council events is available at www.gunnedah.nsw.gov.au
For tickets to the Australia Day Awards Dinner, visit www.thecivic.com.au
For more information on 2019 Australia Day events, contact cultural precinct team leader Lauren Mackley on (02) 6740 2100 or firstname.lastname@example.org