February serves up a whole new month of community-wide festivals and events as we bid fond goodbye to Australia Day and the close of January. Get into the mood for love as cupid draws his bow at Darling Harbour; celebrate the Lunar New Year with the City of Sydney; go crazy about tomatoes; learn more about asylum seekers and refugees; see the V8 Supercars and their teams; enjoy movies in the park with the City of Ryde; and support the Sydney Gay and Lesbian community. Whatever event or activity suits your fancy, you'll find something for FREE this month in Australia's most cosmopolitan city.
Happy Mardi Gras! Photographic Exhibition - from 3 Feb
Surry Hills Library will be hosting a FREE photographic exhibition in support of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival 2015. You can view works from Photographer C. Moore Hardy who has been captured 20 years worth of Mardi Gras images from 3 February to 27 March.
Hardy will also share her recollections with a slideshow of her iconic images on 19 February between 6.30pm to 8pm at the Library. She will be joined by author and historian Garry Wotherspoon who will discuss how gay/queer identity has changed over time. Phone 02 9265 9333 or book here to join the special FREE session.
Fans of the V8 Supercars will be thrilled with a FREE adrenalin-filled weekend to kicks off the 2015 season. Head over to the Sydney Motorsport Park for the V8 Supercars sydney.com SuperTest. You and your family can go behind the scenes and see how teams prepare for the 2015 Championship. You will also see all the teams and drivers in their new liveries as they take to the track for the first time in 2015. Visit the website for the full schedule.
The Lunar New Year season is a great time to be in Sydney. Over the years, the City of Sydney has staged one of the largest celebrations outside China and its no different this year as the city celebrates with a month-long program of events. You and your family can welcomed the Year of the Goat through popular events like the Festival Launch at Dawe Point, the Twilight Parade along George Street, Dragon Boat race competition at Cockle Bay and many more. With over 40 FREE events from 7 February to 1 March, you and your family will be spoiled for choice. Check out this article for more details.
Darling Harbour is playing cupid and helping everyone get into the romantic mood with its Month of Love from 7 February to 7 March. Returning for a second year, visitors can look forward to FREE activities and events in the lead up to Valentine's Day and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival. Highlights include the giant rose sculpture at Cockle Bay Wharf, love songs and a large red pulsating heart on Pyrmont Bridge, heart-shaped fireworks display and many more. Visit the website for more details.
Instead of paying to throw tomatoes, head over to the Royal Botanic Gardens for a FREE weekend of events that celebrate the humble fruit. You and your family can enjoy talks, workshops, cooking classes, guided walks, activities for the kids and a taste test of over 20 varieties. A range of local and organic produce are available for purchase. Competitive visitors can also cook up their meanest sauces for the Chutney/Relish Challenge and the Passata Sauce Challenge or put up their prized tomatoes for the popular Best in Show Competition. Phone 02 9231 8111 or visit the website for more details and competition bookings.
When: 10am - 4pm on both days
Where: Band Lawn, Royal Botanic Garden, Mrs Macquarie's Road Sydney 2000
Asylum Seekers Centre will be staging a FREE art exhibition with renowned Australian artist and previous Archibald winner, Wendy Sharpe. Entitled 'Seeking Humanity', the exhibition will create public awareness and put a human face to the issue of refugees and asylum seekers in Australia. Former Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser will to officially open the portrait exhibition and you can share enjoy 39 portraits drawn by Wendy till 12 March. All the portraits will also be on sale with proceeds going to the Centre to help provide practical and personal support for asylum seekers.
When: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm
Where: The Muse, Sydney TAFE, Cnr Harris & Mary Anne Streets, Ultimo, Sydney
Grab the family and head over to Ryde for FREE screenings of popular family movies. Organised by the City of Ryde, the annual Cinema in the Park event features a 8 metre screen with stereo sound and captions for the deaf and hearing impaired community. The February line up of films include:
ET - 20 February, Morrison Bay Park Putney
Ghostbusters - 21 February, Eastwood Plaza
The Big Lebowski - 27 February, Macquarie University
Matilda - 28 February, Yamble Reserve Ryde
Phone 02 9952 8222 or visit the website for more information.
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Fair Day - 22 Feb
Photo courtesy of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
This is the biggest gay day in Victoria Park with an annual turnout exceeding 80,000 visitors. You can join Sydney's gay and lesbian community in a fun-filled day of live entertainment, kiddy rides, comedy, market stalls and food. Highlights include the annual Tug of War for the TOW Shield and a alcohol and drug free socialising platform through DiversiTea. Even the pet pooch can enjoy Fair Day with the DoggyWood dog show. If you're having too much fun to stop, there's always the post-Fair Day party at the Newtown Hotel and the Bank Hotel in Newtown.
When: 10am - 8pm
Where: Victoria Park, City Road, Chippendale NSW 2008
Is Surry Hills library wheelchair accessible? It would be great if activities, etc. could identify whether the venues are wheelchair accessible - this would reduce a lot of time researching each activity.