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Let's Go Grazy This EKKA Wednesday - Family Fun & Good Tim
I took my daughters to the Royal Brisbane Show, or the EKKA as it is more affectionately known - once. We all had a great day, but once was quite enough. In the years following, I opted to spend the EKKA Public Holiday with my girls taking advantage of what was on offer in my own hometown.
Cleveland, one of Brisbane's Bayside suburbs nestled along the shores of Moreton Bay, is part of Redland City which has its show day public holiday on Monday, the 8th of August. I'll be heading into Brisbane City on that day as our capital will be carrying on business as usual. The residents of Brisbane Council districts will enjoy their public holiday on Wednesday, 10th August, which is traditionally a day that Cleveland likes to party. This year will be no exception.
Bloomfield Street, Cleveland, will be buzzing with market stalls selling fresh produce, arts and crafts and gourmet foods. There will be wandering musicians throughout the day, as well as a plethora of children's activities.
In keeping with this year's Crazy Day theme, Old Cleveland Town, there will be historical displays by the Redland Museum and the Old School House Gallery. At noon, the Town Crier will make an appearance which promises to be engaging. What's that? You've never seen a Town Crier? This will be a wonderful learning opportunity for the kiddies.
There will also be a fashion parade at 11 am, as well as live performances by Stone The Crows Bush Band, The Dukes of Uke, and the Redland Rhapsody Singers.
When was the last time you travelled out to Cleveland for the day? It has come along in leaps and bounds in recent years.
I walked along only one block of Bloomfield Street recently and counted half a dozen cafes, most with alfresco dining, and a Gelato Bar. Of course, Cleveland is the home of many fine dining establishments, restaurants, a craft beer bar, and three hotels, including the iconic Grand View, with a beer garden that overlooks the bay across to North Stradbroke Island.
Tree lined Bloomfield Street- perfect for a coffee
The Raby Bay Harbour precinct is worth a visit if you're up for a relaxed meal with a water view. There are just so many other eateries dotted around the suburb, so there is certainly no fear of going hungry.
If simplicity is more your thing, pack an esky with snags for a barbecue along the foreshore, or share some hot fish n chips with the gulls.
But back to the coming Crazy Day EKKA Day, a day during which the retail outlets get right into the spirit and hold sidewalk specials and in-store promotions.
This once semi-rural town has grown and offers some great retail experiences. As well as the usual chain stores, there are specialist boutiques, including Louky for a beautiful range of handbags and hats, and Ali Oop's for women's clothing for all shapes and sizes and with a great selection of jewellery.
There has to be something calling your name at Ali Oop's
Also along Bloomfield Street, you will find several gift stores, including a linen specialist, as well as an interesting art supply shop that sells amazing arty-crafty kits that make for great gift giving. I must stop buying things for the nieces and spoil myself for a change.
Just off Bloomfield is an Art Gallery, and you guessed it, more Cafes, more alfresco dining. There is also a fantastic creative outlet calledColour My Pot at which you can do as exactly as the name implies.
So Brisbanites, on your EKKA Show Day, don't waste the day fighting traffic or crowds. Give the fairy floss a miss this year. Instead, travel bayside and make a day out of enjoying all that is on offer on Crazy DayEkka Day at Cleveland, doing as little or as much as you choose. Fresh air and picturesque views of Moreton Bay at no additional charge.