I'm a freelance writer who lives on the Bellarine Peninsula. I enjoy finding new things to see and do in the beautiful area that I live in.
It's that time of year again! Going 96 years strong, Gala Day is a stalwart event on the Geelong Hospital Appeal fundraising calendar, providing entertainment and hope every year for the Geelong community.
To be held on Saturday 17 November, the parade will make its way down Malop Street before finishing up on the corner of Moorabool and Brougham Streets, which means that there will be plenty of vantage points to watch from as the parade goes by.
As per usual, the Gala Day parade will begin at 11am and feature floats from a variety of Geelong schools, community groups and businesses. With the whole street closed to regular traffic, and the popularity of the event with young families, it's best to get there early to secure your spot on the sidelines and ensure that your kids can get first pick of the lollies and freebies thrown out to the crowds.
This year, minor celebrities such as newsreader (and Barwon Health Patron) Peter Hitchener and choir leader Denis Walter (who is the Ambassador for the parade) will be participating, alongside stars from the Geelong Cats AFL team and members of the Geelong Supercats basketball team. Santa and Mrs Claus will also take time out from their busy schedule to participate, along with some characters from Monsters Inc.
Steampacket Gardens on the Geelong Waterfront will host the Family Fun Day
This year, the parade will be just as entertaining as in previous years, but with added 'international' guests for the kids, in the form of Elmo, Fireman Sam, Bananas In Pyjamas, and the Raggs Band. These popular children's entertainers will grace the stage and perform for their young fans at the Family Fun Day, which will be held after the parade at Steampacket Gardens (on the Geelong Waterfront).
With market stalls, plenty of food vendors on site and children's rides, the day will be perfect for the whole family. Although this event is free, it is being run as a fundraiser to support all aspects of the Geelong Hospital, including the Andrew Love Cancer Centre, McKellar Centre, palliative care, the cardiac wards, aged care, and specifically, the completion of the children's ward redevelopment.
All monetary donations over $2 are tax-deductable, and would be greatly appreciated in addition to you having a fantastic time on the day. You can also buy a special and colourful pinwheel for $2 to show your support for the parade and act as a keepsake from this popular event.