Each Anzac Day around Canberra, many pubs and clubs open early to cook up a hot breakfast for locals returning from the Dawn Service, or prepare for large crowds at Two-Up games held later in the day. Although the day can be sombre as we remember those who have fallen, it is also a time to celebrate the freedom that our armed services have fought for - and still fight for - in this beautiful country. Where else do you see crowds of people cheering and betting on two old coins getting thrown up in the air? It's a fun tradition and a legacy from our war diggers that makes all Australians feel proud to be an Aussie on Anzac Day.
Check out the following list and see what's on this Anzac Day near you, to get out in the community and be part of the action. These are just a handful of ideas, so check your local pub or club for their events and get ready for the iconic calls of "Come in Spinner!"
Canberra Casino is located in the heart of the CBD and this year they will be hosting Two-Up games between 12pm and 9pm - that's 9 hours of Two-Up fun! See here for details.
The Canberra Irish Club is located in the southern suburb of Weston Creek. This community club will have a bus to the Australian War Memorial Dawn Service for members, a hot breakfast starting from 7am and Two-Up between 1pm - 6pm. See here for details.
King O'Malley's is an Irish pub in the middle of the city in City Walk. This traditional Irish pub, with dark wooden panelling and Irish food on the menu, will be having Two-Up in the beer garden out the front from 12pm. Why not head into the city for a game of Two-Up then stay and be part of the social, international crowd all afternoon. See here for details.
Olim's Bar and Bistro at the Mecure Hotel is located in Braddon, literally just a 2 minute drive from the Australian War Memorial. Due to its convenient location, Olim's is a popular place to visit after the Dawn Service or National Ceremony. They will be opening their doors early, so people can walk down the road after the Dawn Service and reflect on the service together. See here for details.
George Harcourt Inn is a traditional English pub in the tourist area of Gold Creek Village. It is located opposite the National Dinosaur Museum and just a short walk from Cockington Green Gardens - both of which will be open on Anzac Day. This Anzac Day they will be having a hot breakfast from 7am, Two-Up from noon in their beer garden and live music from 6pm. Support Soldier On at The George! See here for details.
Ducks Nuts is a popular gastro pub in Dickson, located on a corner in Woolley Street, which runs through the centre of Dickson shops. On Anzac Day they will be open from 11am with a full menu running all day with a variety of tasty dishes on offer. Games of Two-Up will begin at 1pm and there will also be live music from Ryan David between 2pm - 5pm. See here for details.
The Duxton gastro pub is located in O'Connor, north of the city. This Anzac Day they will be serving an early, hot breakfast from 6am and then starting at 12pm there will be games of Two-Up - on two levels! Two Up will be played downstairs in the main Bistro and also upstairs in the Oak Room. Money raised will be given to Soldier On. See here for details.
The Australian War Memorial is the centre of all Anzac Day events in Canberra, with the Dawn Service, National Ceremony and The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commemorative Ceremony held in the morning- see here for event details. Whilst at the War Memorial, why not join a free public tour and learn more about the stories behind the people who fought for our country. You could easily spend the entire day at the War Memorial (with a lunch stop at Poppy's cafe!) and stay for the Last Post Ceremony at 5pm. See here for details.
The National Gallery of Australia will be holding a free event on Anzac Day in the Project Gallery - Arthur Streeton: The Art of War Poetry Reading. Between 11am - 12pm there will be a recital of Australian poetry and illuminating letters written by artists Arthur Streeton during his time as an official war artist in May 1918, by the ANU Theatre Society. Bookings essential. See here for details.
Jerrabomberra Wetlands is a surprising place to find wartime history, however it regularly holds tours to the remains of World War 1 training trenches on their property, with local historian Mark Butz. Although the tours aren't specifically for Anzac Day and aren't run on the actual day, they offer tours all throughout April for those interested in World War 1 history. The cost is $15 - $25. See here for details.
Anzac Day is a special day for the people of Australia and New Zealand, to honour the union and wartime history between the two countries. Why not catch up with a mate, say G'day to your neighbour or meet up with friends for a beer in a pub? You can't get much more Aussie than that!
World War 1 Trench Tours at Jerrabomberra Wetlands. Image: Original photos from Jerrabomberra Wetlands website and Facebook