Wollongong's party plan for Australia Day

Break out the thongs, slap on some bright gold zinc and don the daggiest yellow and green hat you can find - Australia Day is almost here.

Lavender Lilly, Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery and Elvis at the launch of Wollongong's Australia Day program. Picture: ORLANDO CHIODO

Lavender Lilly, Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery and Elvis at the launch of Wollongong's Australia Day program. Picture: ORLANDO CHIODO

Thousands are expected to flock to Wollongong Harbour and Lang Park again this year to celebrate our national day on January 26.

Wollongong City Council yesterday revealed its line-up of entertainment and events on the day, which kicks off with the annual Australia Day Aquathon at 8am, and will finish with fireworks at 9pm.

Festivities will be spread across five different areas, including Wollongong Harbour, Lang Park, Osborne Park and Flagstaff Hill.

Australia's newest citizens will take their affirmation at Wollongong Town Hall from 10.30am, where they will hear from former Wollongong Hawks captain and Australia Day ambassador Mat Campbell.

Activities will take place around the harbour foreshore throughout the day, including the Illawarra Rotaract hospital bed run, sand sculpting and a yacht display and regatta.

Osborne Park will be packed with amusement rides for the kids and food and novelty stalls.

Parents are encouraged to bring toddlers dressed in their favourite fairy or superhero outfit for a kids' parade at 4.30pm.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the family-friendly day would have something for everyone.

"This continues to be one of the council's most popular annual events," he said, adding that crowd numbers were expected to exceed the 15,000 that turned out on New Year's Eve.

"I'm really looking forward to celebrating our community, and the wonderful diversity of people who live, work and play in Wollongong."

Cr Bradbery urged families to come down to the harbour and "make a day of it".

Highlights of the Wollongong Australia Day celebrations:

8am – Australia Day Aquathon at Wollongong Harbour

10.30am – Citizenship ceremony at Wollongong Town Hall, including address from Australia Day ambassador Mat Campbell

11.30am and 2.30pm – Wollongong Yacht Club Australia Day regatta on Wollongong harbour

Noon – Austin motor vehicle display at Flagstaff Hill

Noon – Thong throwing contest at Wollongong Harbour

12.30pm – Gun battery march and firing of the cannons at Smith’s Hill Battery on Cliff Road

12.30pm-5.30pm – Children’s stage in Osborne Park

1pm – Sand sculptures at Wollongong Harbour

1pm-7pm – Joy flights over Wollongong with Touchdown Helicopters, departing from Flagstaff Hill

2.30pm – Southern Biplanes Adventures aerobatics display over the harbour

3pm – Illawarra Rotaract hospital bed run parade on Marine Drive

3.45pm – Elvis and the Footloose Rockers at Lang Park

4.30pm – Fairies and Superheroes parade at Osborne Park

8.45pm – Circus Monoxide and outrigger canoe display at the harbour

9pm – Fireworks at Wollongong Harbour


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