Are you ready for it? Australia Day Victoria on 26 Jan 2019 is our nation's largest annual public celebration spawning hundreds of community events showcasing our diverse community and recognising those who make a difference to the lives of others. An event like this entails Road Closures of the massive kind, so be sure to check before you head out. To explore other events in your state or territory on Australia day, check here. You have but to Google Australia Day events and you'll find a plethora all over Victoria. Are you born on 26 January? If you are, you're a 26ER. Join the exclusive 26er club and get in the spirit of our national day.
There's a range of free family-friendly events in and around Melbourne, especially in the CBD. Some of the highlights and staples of the day are the Official Flag Raising Ceremony, Australia Day Parade, RACV Australia Day Festival in Kings Domain Gardens, Australia Day at Docklands celebration with fireworks and Government House Open Day.Saturday 26 January 2019 is a day to reflect on what it means to be Australian, to celebrate contemporary Australia and to acknowledge our history.
The Official Flag Raising Ceremony will be held at the Melbourne Town Hall in the CBD on Swanston Street on Sat 26 Jan from 10.30-11.00am. It marks the beginning of Melbourne's Australia Day celebrations and will be hosted by the Premier of Victoria and attended by the Governor of Victoria, the Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne and other dignitaries.
It features an inspection of the Tri-Service Royal Guard of Honour, the Australia Day Affirmation and the singing of the Australian National Anthem. Here's a snippet of our history. The Australian National Flag was flown for the very first time in September 1901 and the original composition of Advance Australia Fair was written by Peter Dodds McCormick in 1878 and was four verses long.
The Australia Day Parade from 11-11.45am will run along Swanston Street in the CBD, immediately following the Official Flag Raising Ceremony. A vibrant public display of our diverse community in the form of more than 1000 participants from over 80 community and cultural groups will march proudly down the street. Cheer them on as a range of multicultural dancing and music groups, plus sporting and cultural associations, cosplayers and more walk past you.
The RACV Australia Day Festival in Kings Domain Gardens is another longstanding Australia Day event in one of our beautiful city gardens. Running from 11am to 4pm, this much-loved event is held after the Australia Day Parade and continues to send out vibes of togetherness and belonging. It's an event fuelled by family focussed activities, displays from a broad range of community groups and the 2019 RACV Australia Day Heritage Vehicle Showcase. A festive food atmosphere and a vibrant street food affaire fills the air at the Food Truck Park, not to mention a banging main stage program complete with kids yoga, bands and the headline act, Justice League.
Australia Day at Docklands will also be vying for your attention from 6-9.30pm with fireworks at 9pm on the Harbour Esplanade. Entertainment will not disappoint with roaming artists, and markets, not to mention the Great Australian Bites which launches in 2019 and showcases the mouth-watering treats specially curated for Australia Day.
Government House Victoria Day from 9.30am to 3.30pm is an opportunity to take a self-guided tour starting at the Fountain Court entrance and runs on the day from 10am-3.30pm (queue closes at 3pm). You can visit the ballroom without being part of the House tour by entering and exiting via the Ballroom steps. There'll be a special documentary screening in 5 min segments about the Role of the Governor, the History of Government House and its contemporary role in today's society.
Kids entertainment is provided by way of a Scienceworks Display where they can experiment with the latest science and technology gadgets. There'll also be the CSIRO 3D Printing demos, craft activity for kids to design their own flag to take home and some LEGO play, Around the Gardens on the Western Lawn and Kitchen Garden and Children's Zone you'll find the Main Stage, Picnic Area, Ceremonial Trees, Roulettes Flyover at 12.30pm, activities and displays, and a whole lot more, including scones and tea by the Country Women's Association.
Please note the 21 Gun Salute will take place at noon at the Shrine of Remembrance. For full details of all activities at Govt House, check here.