Australia Day on Tuesday, January 26 will have a completely new format with a family barbecue and picnic afternoon planned from 4pm at Colin McKenzie Park (also known as Frog Hollow) on Lake Forbes behind the Forbes Sports and Recreation Club.
The inaugural Ben Hall Gift, Forbes’ own version of the famous Stawell Gift, will be a feature of the afternoon with $3000 in prize money to be awarded. Sponsored by the Forbes Sports and Recreation Club and Walkers Ag n Vet, there will be 100m sprint races from 5pm in the categories of men, women, juniors, celebrity and league vs union.
The final of the Ben Hall Gift will take place at 7pm. The official ceremony is to be held at 6pm with live music to follow and a fireworks display from Bates Bridge will light the night sky at the end of the evening at 9pm. Throughout the afternoon there will also be free children’s rides, the CWA Damper Cooking Competition, a range of food stalls and a bar.
The traditional Rotary Community Breakfast will start the Australia Day activities from 7am at Apex Park and the Diggers Family Swim will be at the Forbes Town Pool from 11am. Mayor Phyllis Miller OAM said she was looking forward to the celebrations. “While the format is different to previous years for the afternoon activities, the Ben Hall Gift is going to be a lot of fun and there is a great prize pool up for grabs,” Mayor Phyllis Miller OAM said.
“A barbecue or picnic with family and friends is what Australia Day is all about and we are also encouraging you to bring down your own barbecues (fire ban permitting) shade shelters and eskies to have an enjoyable afternoon out by Lake Forbes.” Council is also reminding community members that nominations are now open for the 2016 Forbes Citizen of the Year and Junior Citizen of the Year awards, which will be presented at the official ceremony.
Nomination forms are available online at www.forbes.nsw.gov.au or you can pick up a form from Council’s administration office at 2 Court Street.