City of Parramatta is expecting more than 80,000 people at its all-day Australia Day celebrations in Parramatta Park on Saturday 26 January 2019.
The free 15-hour-long event will kick off from 6am with the iconic hot air balloon display and features the nation’s largest Australia Day citizenship ceremony, classic cars, a lamb barbecue competition, free activities and workshops, a great line-up of Aussie artists, and family-friendly fireworks at 9pm.
“The festivities celebrate everything there is to love about Parramatta including its rich history, cultural diversity and local talent. Set in the beautiful grounds of World Heritage-Listed Parramatta Park, it’s the ultimate outdoor destination for Australia Day celebrations offering something for everyone,” Lord Mayor of Parramatta Cr Andrew Wilson said.
Aussie rock legends The Chantoozies, Dale Ryder, Eurogliders, Swanee, Matt Finish, Real Life, Ross Wilson, Sean Kelly, Sharon O'Neil, Steve Kilbey and Grant Walmsley will headline the evening concert at The Crescent Amphitheatre from 6pm, culminating in a medley before a 12-minute-long fireworks extravaganza ends the all-day celebrations at 9pm.
“This year’s celebrations will be particularly special as we welcome almost 1,500 new Australian citizens as part of Australia Day’s largest citizenship ceremony,” Cr Wilson said.
A unique welcome ceremony will see more than 500 Aboriginal children and dancers perform around a corroborree sand circle from 7.45am, followed by the official Citizenship Ceremony, which will be hosted by distinguished journalist, public speaker and actor, Kumud Merani at 9.30am.
Internationally-renowned and iconic Aboriginal band Yothu Yindi and The Treaty Project, featuring original Yothu Yindi members and emerging First Nations artists, will perform new remixes of classic Yothu Yindi hits to conclude the citizenship program.
The Family Stage will be the go-to place for live entertainment the whole family can enjoy. Rapper D Minor will perform onstage and then join rock iconRoss Wilson to judge 20 Western Sydney talented and emerging artists as part of the annual Parravision grand final from 11am. The overall winner will get a rare opportunity to perform later in the evening at the NSW Government’s flagship ‘Australia Day Live’ event in Circular Quay.
A great line-up of Western Sydney musicians such as Ricky Nifo, Kymie, Mel Bailey, Jannah Beth and Nardean, will take to the stage from 1pm.
“Australia Day is not complete without a good barbecue and lots of food, and our event doesn’t disappoint with a great selection of food stalls and our annual Big BBQ competition,” Cr Wilson said.
Some of Australia’s best barbeque teams will dish out the ultimate lamb cutlets, ribs, shanks and shoulders for the Big BBQ competition. The pitmasters will demonstrate their skills and event-goers will be able to sample the barbecued meats.
Carnivale, Sydney’s premier display of classic and vintage vehicles, will feature highlights including: a 111-year-old REO tourer built in 1907 and owned by Don Liddle OAM; more than 20 Armstrong Siddeley cars which are celebrating 100 years since the first car was produced in April 1919, and the 60-year-old Australian designed and built Goggomobil Dart. Additionally, Dart designer and builder Bill Buckle will be at Carnivale with one of his legendary 1959 Buckle Coupes.
The Playground area will offer a smorgasbord of fun tailored specifically for young children featuring magic, dance and dreamtime shows as well as interactive activities with a circus tent, African drumming, arts and crafts stations, a variety of dance workshops, face painting and roving performers.
Executive Director of Parramatta Park and Western Sydney Parklands Trusts Suellen Fitzgerald said: “With a proud 40,000-year history of Aboriginal occupation, and European heritage that dates back to the earliest years of colonial settlement, Parramatta Park is the perfect place for Sydneysiders to celebrate Australia Day.”