IT is business as usual for Broadford’s annual Australia Day celebrations, with the open-air event taking place at the Rotary Rotunda on the Island Reserve at High Street.
The event has been operating for decades and is one of the town’s most-anticipated annual events.
After a long, tumultuous year, it is a great opportunity to reconnect and catch-up with family, friends and the community.
While there will be no entry fee or visitor limits, COVID restrictions will be in place with patrons required to register upon entry and encouraged to maintain social distancing and hand-hygiene measures.
To celebrate and include everyone at the start of the new year, all of the Kids’ Corner activities are free of charge, including face painting, a jumping castle, a pet farm, and this year’s new attractions, pony rides, and a ‘snake safe’ display and demonstration.
There will also be new and interesting market stalls with locally-made outdoor iron works, outdoor blinds, an array of garden tools, large and small garden plants, leather goods, and bric-a-brac.
Several community groups will be represented, including Scouts, CFA, SES, Victoria Police, Landcare, Rotary, and sporting clubs.
The food court stalls will offer a wide range of choices for lunch and snacks, from traditional sausage sizzles, to Vietnamese dishes and calamari in a cup.
As usual, Stute’s Australia Day Pies will be served at the Landcare truck, brewed coffee, soft-serve ice-creams and a new confectionery range will also be available.
The Broadford Historic Precinct buildings will also be open to the public, with Broadford Historical Society members providing expert information and displays in the buildings there. This year’s display includes photos and memorabilia about the early years in Broadford.
The day starts early with the Lions Club again providing their traditional barbecue breakfast from 7am to 9am in Lions Park, available to all for a gold coin donation.
Festivities will then move to the Rotary Rotunda from 9am to 3pm for live music from local musicians Van-Yt and a range of other entertainment. There will also be the traditional flag-raising at 10am, along with the announcement of the Outstanding Citizen Award.
Mitchell Shire Council’s annual celebration and citizenship ceremony takes place in Wallan this year at the Wallan Free Library and Mechanics Institute Hall at Hadfield Park.
The day kicks off at 9am with a flag raising, before council welcomes its new citizens from 9.30am, followed by the annual Australia Day Community Awards.
Wandong Heathcote Junction’s annual Australia Day breakfast is also going ahead.
The Wandong Heathcote Junction Community Group, assisted by the Wandong Wallan Lions Club and on behalf of the LB Davern Reserve Committee of Management, will provide a free hot breakfast from 8am on Australia Day.
The breakfast will be at the community centre at LB Davern Reserve, Dry Creek Road, Wandong, followed by the flag raising ceremony and presentation of community awards to two deserving local citizens at 9am.
Seymour’s Australia Day celebration kicks off at 8am at Kings Park, with a cooked breakfast and is headlined by an art display from the Seymour and District Art Society.
The society will host a workshop for the duration of the event and artwork will also be available for purchase.
The Seymour District Car Club will have a full display of their vehicles while the SES will demonstrate their vehicle rescue equipment and Riding for the Disabled is bringing horses to pet.
The flag raising will take place at 10.15am, with the Australian Army sending a contingent of soldiers from Puckapunyal to take part.
The event is expected to wrap-up before 1pm.
For more information, call Seymour Rotary on 0492 862 039.
Glenaroua CFA has been forced to cancel its annual Australia Day weekend Woolley Cup fundraiser.
The event, scheduled for Saturday, January 23, has been operasting annually for more than a decade, but will be missed in 2021 due to COVID-19.
For more information, call Glenaroua CFA secretary treasurer Pam Burns on 0427 516 863.