COLAC Otway Shire mayor Frank Buchanan hopes the shire’s Australia Day celebrations will give community members an opportunity to enjoy themselves after a summer marred by bushfires.
Organisers are expecting thousands of people to attend festivities at Birregurra Park and along the town’s main street on January 26.
Bushfires have been burning in the Otways since late December and destroyed more than 100 homes at Wye River and Separation Creek on Christmas Day.
“If there is no absolute emergency on that day it will be a chance for people to come and relax and enjoy a day out and celebrate with other people that have achieved awards,” Cr Buchanan said.
“Our whole community can come together on Australia Day and do what they do best, enjoy themselves.”
The Australia Day celebrations will include live music from country music star and Golden Guitar winner James Blundell and the Birregurra Ukelele Collective and performances from cultural dance groups.
Market stalls, children’s activities, art activities, barefoot bowls, a photo exhibition and a car display are also part of the event.
Cr Buchanan said the shire’s Australia Day celebrations were getting bigger every year and Birregurra would be an ideal place to host this year’s celebrations.
“It’s a great opportunity to have it at Birre; they really do well in helping to set up festivals, they will be a great host town for us,” he said.
“Congratulations to all our guys at the shire who helped organise this and the Birregurra community who have had input too.
“It really gives our shire something to focus on for that day.”
Courtesy busses from Colac and Apollo Bay will take residents to and from the event.
The Apollo Bay bus will make stops at Forrest and Barwon Downs.
Residents can book their spot on a bus by contacting the council before January 18.