Toowoomba to celebrate community this Australia Day
JANUARY 26 is time to celebrate just how fortunate we are to live in this wonderful part of Australia and the people that make it great, according to Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio.
Whether it is lamingtons or billy tea and damper you hunger for, the traditional smoking ceremony, flag-raising, a taste of history or the ubiquitous sausage sizzle, billy cart races, bands or awards, you will find it around the Toowoomba region this Australia Day.
"I would encourage the community to join in and celebrate our diverse society, reflect on our achievements and recommit to making Australia an even better place for everyone," the Mayor said.
Each year the council recognises some of the exceptional contributions individuals and groups have made to the community in its Australia Day awards.
"This year we have some really outstanding nominees .... I commend our nominees for their tireless efforts and achievements," Cr Antonio said.
But he said Australia Day's free festivities were also a great way to get out and meet new people, and reconnect with neighbours, family and friends.
Toowoomba's primary celebration is at Picnic Point starting at 8am with the Smoking Ceremony and Welcome to Country.
Australia Day awards at 9.30am are followed by birthday cake at 10am and a free sausage sizzle from 11am, and plenty of entertainment for all including the Municipal Band and Zephyr Project until 1pm.
Around the region, Oakey also has major plans at Arthur Shooter Park, with breakfast starting from 7.30am and awards at 8.30am.
That's followed by morning tea and lots of traditional fun, including a raft race, billy carts, iron man, billy boiling competition, sack races, thong-throwing, lamington eating and more from 10am-12pm. Phone 0418876131.
Highfields Pioneer Village, Wirraglen Rd, will be open 9am-5pm with entertainment and displays throughout the day, official awards at 2pm followed by billy tea and damper and a bush band. Go to highfieldspioneervillage.com.au.
The Woolshed at Jondaryan is also open 8.30am-4.30pm with entry by gold coin donation. Go to jondaryanwoolshed.com.au or phone 0746922229.
Southern Downs Regional Council is doing something new this year in Warwick, joining in the Great Australian Bites at Palmerin St from 4-10pm, with a full line-up of local entertainment and an array of tasting plates from local restaurants.
Other Toowoomba Regional Council celebrations are: Crows Nest at Centenary Park, Toowoomba Rd, 7am-10.30am; Clifton has a gold coin donation barbecue breakfast and awards at FE Logan Hall, Meara Place, 7-9.30am; Cecil Plains/Millmerran at Cecil Plains Pool, Cheetham St, 7-11am; Pittsworth Pioneer Village is open 7am-12pm serving breakfast and morning tea along with the day's awards and activities, including billy cart and foot races and a crosscut saw competition. Phone 0448137311; Goombungee Hall, King St, 8-10am, with awards at 9am and Cambooya Recreation Grounds has a free breakfast, followed by awards at Lucy St, 8-11am.
For a full schedule, phone 131872 or go to tr.qld.gov.au/events.