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.
Traditionally, most people spend the Australia Day public holiday with family and friends. There are usually sausages, burgers and chicken wings roasting on the barbecue, plenty of alcoholic beverages on hand, and Australian flag-laiden, zinc-smeared people wandering around, listening to either Triple J's Hottest 100 or a mix-tape of classic Aussie rock songs. January 26th is- besides being a celebration of the founding of Australia by European settlers- a day for everybody to let out their inner bogan, ham up the Aussie accents, and wear the national flag with pride.
While there are plenty of events happening in the capital cities of Australia to commemorate this special day (including citizenship ceremonies, music festivals like Big Day Out, and international cricket matches), there will also be plenty of smaller celebrations occurring in suburban and regional areas of the country. The city of Geelong will be holding an Australia Day Children's Free Fun Day at Rippleside Park in Drumcondra, but for people out on the Bellarine Peninsula, Drysdale will be the place to be.
The Village Green, just outside Woolworths Drysdale
The Clifton Springs branch of the Lions Club, in conjunction with the CFA, SES, Woolworths, Curlewis Parks and the City of Greater Geelong, will be holding their annual Australia Day Picnic on the Village Green outside Woolworths Drysdale. This event has grown dramatically over the last few years, with more and more people taking advantage of the great family-friendly atmosphere and fun activities on the day. Beginning at 10.30am, there will be free food (sausage sizzle) and music available, as well as a jumping castle, face painting and a historical display. The fire trucks that are usually housed at the station across the road will be on show, as will some SES trucks- these are always very popular with the kids (and sometimes even their parents!). There will be entertainment from local bands and from the choirs of some local schools, and at 11.30am there will be a short ceremony, headed by Australia Day Ambassador and guest speaker, Dr. Bronwyn King (a renowned Melbourne oncologist).
If you want to celebrate Australia Day with a group of like-minded people, but don't want to travel too far out of the suburbs, then events like this are the perfect way to spend a few hours. Rather than travel half an hour to attend the Geelong festivities, people on the Bellarine Peninsula can pack a picnic and have a similar experience (albeit on a smaller scale) in Drysdale this Australia Day.