Now that the silly season is out of the way for another year and businesses have been reopened for at least a fortnight, it's time to get down to the serious business of barbecuing and that calls for a long weekend.
It's Australia Day, a national holiday to commemorate the anniversary of the arrival of the first fleet and a time to reflect on where we've come from and where we're headed. So show your Aussie pride on Sunday, January 26, 2014 by flying a flag, donning some thongs, and joining the festivities. You get to sleep in the next day and that deserves an Aussie, Aussie, Aussie…
Yes, patriotism is alive and well and you can celebrate Australia Day in Adelaide at a number of events, like Australia Day in the City. The free event kicks off at 6 pm with a colourful street parade along King William Street. It's followed by a live concert in Elder Park starring Timomatic and Sarah De Bono, and a dazzling display of fireworks to finish the night off. Read more about Australia Day in the City here.
Nearby, the Adelaide Convention Centre, in conjunction with the Australia Day Council, is hosting a Snazzy Sizzle. It's on the Riverbank Promenade at Regatta's as part of the Experience Riverbank Festival and celebrates not just Australia Day, but also a brand new public entertainment precinct.
The Snazzy Sizzle features a gourmet barbecue, mega screens to display all the action of Australia Day in the City, a great view of the Australia Day fireworks display, and an after party with DJ HMC on the decks. The barbecue starts at 6 pm and costs $49 per person and there is a $5 entry fee to the after party at 10 pm. Head to the Adelaide Convention Centre website for booking information.
To the South of Adelaide, the South Adelaide Football Club will be hosting their traditional Australia Day Bush Fair. Entry to Hickinbotham Oval is by gold coin donation. It starts at 5.30 pm and there will be live music, food stalls, 3D fireworks, and free activities such as camel rides, rock climbing, face painting, and, of course, footy. The City of Onkaparinga website has all the details.
Meanwhile, at Glenelg beach a world record attempt will take place. Much like the successful Guinness World Record Attempt for the Longest Line of Surfboards in the sand at Port Noarlunga in December, the Havaianas' Australia Day Thong Challenge will attempt the world's largest number of inflatable thongs connected in the water to raise money for the Glenelg Surf Life Saving Club. There will also be beach activities, a DJ playing classic Aussie tunes, and a barbecue. Visit the Havaianas' Thong Challenge website for more information and to register for $30.
There will be fun and festivities on the foreshore at the Semaphore Summer Carnival. It's on until the end of January and is open every day from 11 am onward. There are thrill rides and sideshow amusements all day long and at 9.30 pm on Australia Day there is a free fireworks display. Entry is free, but there are costs involved for the rides and activities. Visit the Port Adelaide Visitor Information Centre website for more details.
It doesn't matter where you are situated in South Australia, there is bound to be an event not too far away. Check with your local council as many host events for the community, which usually consist of a citizenship ceremony, awards presentation, and sometimes even a barbecue or breakfast buffet. Waikerie, for example, is having an Australia Day Extravaganza in the evening, which also includes a food and wine festival, activities for children, live music, and a fireworks display. It only costs $2 for adults and $1 for children. Find more information at the Waikerie Tourism website.
Or host your own party at home, in a park, or on the beach. The aforementioned coastal suburbs of Glenelg and Semaphore are popular places to spend Australia Day, but the beaches along the mid-coast of South Australia are always very busy too. Aldinga Beach in particular is considered the place to be, as well as the surrounding beaches of Moana, Silver Sands, and Sellicks, where you can pay a small fee (usually $6, unless you're a local resident with a beach pass) to drive your car on the sand and set up camp for a day in the sun and the sea.
Whatever you do and wherever you go, let Triple J be the soundtrack to your Australia Day party with a countdown of the most popular songs of the past year in the Hottest 100. Have your say on what's played on the day by casting your vote now on the Hottest 100 website.