Region gears up for a big Australia Day

WITH Australia Day just around the corner, the Shoalhaven is preparing to celebrate and welcome another influx of holiday-makers.

It has been a busy holiday season for Nowra’s CBD according to Shoalhaven Business Chamber general manager Jennifer Stewart, who expected to see the trend continue to the end of January.

“The Australia Day celebration at the Nowra Showground is a family fun day and it’s going to be a big day like last year,” Ms Stewart said.

“Last year we received around 2000 people and we are expecting that again, however this year there are more family activities and entertainment, so we should see an even bigger turnout.

“We also had a great response with the triathlon last year and we are expecting a similar turnout this year – they just keep getting bigger and bigger.

“Retailers on the strip area are very busy today and the overall traffic flow is up from last year. We’ve had a good response in sales and that has continued over at Stockland Nowra as well,” she said.

Twenty-five people will take the pledge at the Nowra Showground pavilion for the citizen ceremony this year and 20 nominees are up for awards.

The celebrations, hosted by South Nowra Rotary and Shoalhaven City Council will begin with a traditional Australian breakfast barbecue from 8am.

A range of activities such as face painting, jumping castles, music from the town band and other entertainers such as Paul Green and stalls will be set up to be enjoyed throughout the morning.

Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash said there were plans in discussion to change the Australia Day celebrations in the future to make them bigger and better.

Other Australia Day celebrations will be held at Bicentennial Park in Callala Bay from 8am for a breakfast and presentation of the Callala Bay Citizen of the Year Award.

If the markets are more your style, the Nowra Greyhound Track Markets, Berry Produce Market and Pyree Village Arts and Crafts Markets will also be held on Australia Day.

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