Australia Day 2017 on the 26th of January is our national day, a day of celebration of our national identity and cultural blend. It's a day when we can look with gratitude at the disparate groups within Australia who have worked together with pride to make Australia great.
These achievements have occurred because indigenous people, descendants of convicts from England, and migrants from every corner of the globe have all set aside their differences to work for common goals. On this day we all celebrate our national unity on the Australia Day public holiday.
The Australia Day celebrations originally marked the arrival of the First Fleet in Australia from Great Britain, but over the years it has grown to mean so much more. Our cultural blend is no longer an uneasy mix of indigenous people and white Europeans, but a rich mix of ethnic groups from the Middle East, Asia and Africa too. Instead of celebrating our differences, our national day shows our pride in our unity.
The 1920 Australia Day Parade Passes the Freemasons Hotel on Pirie Street (Image State Library SA)
In Adelaide, Australia Day in the City is the traditional way for locals to come together and share our national pride with a colourful parade, followed by the Australia Day traditions of a free concert and fireworks in Adelaide's Elder Park.
The Australia Day parade starts in Victoria Square at 6pm and marches straight along King William Street to Elder Park. Expect more than 4,000 people from 150 community groups with musical marching bands, vintage vehicles, fantastic floats of fairy tale characters, and a frightening fly past from an F-18 Hornet when you least expect it.
See the Colourful Free Parade at Australia Day in the City (Image Supplied)
At the time of writing organisers haven't released details of the performance line-up for the Australia Day concert in Elder Park which starts just after 7pm. Last year's Australia Day in the City saw acts including Jack Buckskin and Kuma Karro, Masketta Fall and Samantha Jade. To support the awesome performers the Australia Day concert also includes a 21 gun salute, flag raising ceremony and cutting of the Australia Day cake. For the latest details about the free concert and fireworks, see the Adelaide City Council's Australia Day in the City Facebook event page.
Please note that Elder Park is a dry zone - glass bottles and BYO alcohol are not permitted, although a bar will be open on site. With the huge number of people arriving in Adelaide for the Australia Day concert, travelling on public transport is your best bet. Due to the Australia Day public holiday, these services may not be as frequent as usual.
Spectacular Free Fireworks on the Australia Day Public Holiday (Image Supplied)
If you really insist on driving in Adelaide for the Australia Day 2017 party, UPark is offering Australia Day in the City visitors $7 flat rate parking at all UParks except at the Central Market. The closest UPark to Elder Park is at Gawler Place, which will remain open until midnight, or UPark on Frome Street which is open 24 hours. For guaranteed parking book online at least 30 minutes in advance at UBook@UPark. For more information visit upark.com.au
There will be plenty of delicious street food and drinks available before the free family entertainment kicks off. Bring rugs for the family or low seating, and settle down for a spectacular evening of free entertainment and fireworks.