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.
Unless you're a Geelong resident working in Melbourne, or your workplace is public-holiday-friendly, it's unlikely that you will have Melbourne Cup Day off work.
For everyone who does have the day off, first of all, lucky you. Now you need to find a way to spend the day, if you're not interested in going trackside at Flemington Racecourse. Of course, some places, such as cafes and shops will still be open, but being a public holiday, there's a chance that the opening hours will be limited, and the venues will be packed with plenty of people who have the same idea.
If you're after a slightly different shopping experience, why not head to Central Geelong for the annual Sidewalk Sales? Held on Melbourne Cup Day every year, most of the town's retail businesses get involved, providing a huge range of discounts and specials on different items. It's not just the street-trading stores that participate either, with many of the stores within the two big shopping centres - Westfield Geelong and Market Square - also discounting stock for the enthusiastic shopper.
The streets will be packed with shoppers all looking for a bargain
There will be hundreds of sale items available for you to purchase - from clothing to homewares, and electrical goods to foods. Some businesses in Geelong, such as clothing alteration and beautician services will also have reduced prices on the day. A full 'form guide' of the shops participating and the bargains they will be giving is available on the Central Geelong website.
For those who are after a little bit of pampering, you can't go past the Little Malop Street Mall, where there will be stalls set up from The Hair Academy and The Centre Of Excellence. Here, you can have free mini facials, manicures, makeup touch ups or your hair straightened or braided. They will also be giving free shoulder, head and neck massages so you can work out the kinks after a heavy day of shopping. These services will be available between 10am and 2pm.
Many Geelong stores will be getting involved on the day
Let's not forget the reason for this enjoyable shopping day - the horse race that stops a nation - the Melbourne Cup. There will be screens set up in various locations around the city, so you can stop for a moment, watch your horse win the celebrated prize, and hopefully win a little bit of extra spending money for you.
The Central Geelong Sidewalk Sales are always a fun way to spend the day - just be warned that the shops will be extremely busy, so it's best to get in early if you want to score the ultimate bargains.