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The Tour Down Under road race brings a thrill of excitement to Adelaide during January, as locals and visitors alike are infected with cycling fever. Thousands of interstate and overseas visitors stream into Adelaide to watch the seven stages of the race as it traverses some of the most scenic places in South Australia.
While the Tour Down Under successfully showcases some of SA's best wine regions including the McLaren Vale, Barossa, and Adelaide Hills, the metropolitan area hasn't been forgotten in the itinerary. Several legs of the race take part in the suburbs, and the Bike Art Adelaide Festival will have hubs at Unley and four other suburban locations to celebrate cycling's connection with art.
But Unley has always celebrated a close affinity with the Tour Down Under, hosting a massive free street party on King William Road in years gone by. In 2014 this has evolved to become the Unley Gourmet Gala - a major outdoor gourmet food and wine event, attracting the best of Adelaide's food, wine, fashion and cycling enthusiasts.
This year some forty local restaurants and wineries are combining to put on a memorable event on Thursday January 23 from 4pm until 10pm, when King William Road will be closed to traffic and there will be fun and festivities for all the family. More than 17,000 people are expected to come and join in the fun:
Cycling SA will be hosting a series of criterium races
Ticklish Allsorts and cycling themed art activities will entertain the kids
Marion Grasby will provide free cooking demonstrations at 6.30pm and 7.45pm
Melbourne art-pop duo The Twoks will be playing live in the evening from 9pm
There will be five separate stage areas to let you find the right live music for your mood
Three fashion parades take place during the evening to showcase the best of style and grooming
Of course there will be swags of stalls selling the finest artisan foods from well known restaurants including Melt Pizzeria, Burger Republic, the Earl of Leicester, Indochina, Chefs of Tandoori and many more. Make sure that you arrive with an appetite!
Now you will need to wash down such fine food with a matching drop of wine - perhaps from Wirra Wirra, Lobethal Road wines, Anvers Wines and Tomich Wines. If you prefer a beer then the McLaren Vale Beer Company will see you right.
Not drinking alcohol? Why not ride your bike - the first 200 riders to check in at the Unley Gourmet Gala gates will receive a free smoothie voucher from bike powered Smooth Revolution.
The details of what's happening at the Unley Gourmet Gala are still being fine tuned, so head over to the website or Facebook page for all the latest news.