More than 13, 000 people flocked to Bella Vista Farm as part of the Hills Shire Council’s Australia Day celebrations on Tuesday 26 January. Attendees soaked up the sun while enjoying the great activities, amusement rides, free entertainment, delicious eats and picturesque grounds of the historic farm.
The farm took on an Old Sydney Town feel for the Australia Day celebrations, with historical displays and Devonshire Tea at the Homestead and roaming convicts captivating audiences with their vibrant impersonations of the farm’s first inhabitants and, for the less fortunate, capturing audiences in the convict stocks!
Community spirit was the focus at the Citizenship and Australia Day Awards ceremonies which kicked off the day’s festivities. 26 individuals received Australian Citizenship while the Australia Day Awards recognised the valuable community contributions of both individuals and groups to the Hills community and included an address from the Hills Shire Australia Day Ambassador Don Burke OAM.
The Hills community stage continued the celebration of community into the afternoon with outstanding performances from local music and dance schools as well as community groups and organisations.
MC actor and performer Scott McRae led audiences through the afternoon’s outstanding dance and musical displays with his vibrant personality and host of performance skills- even taking to the Main Stage later in the evening to sing for delighted crowds.
Along with the performances on the community stage, event goers were wowed by the whip cracking, working dog and sheep shearing displays from Tobruk Sheep Station as well as blacksmithing and art displays.
Australia Day at the Farm proved a great day out for kids, with children loving the Alice Paints the Roses Red Show and hat making workshop, pop up library, kindi farm, yard games and wide array of amusement rides to suit all ages.
Revellers got in early to set up picnic rugs and chairs ahead of the evenings Main Stage performance, securing the best seats in the house to see David Campbell, Christine Anu, Emma Pask, Darren Pervical and band deliver swing, jazz and rock favourites which added to the festive atmosphere of the event.
The Main Stage celebrations finished with a bang as the spectacular fireworks display lit up the sky captivating young and old alike.
Although Australia Day celebrations are over for another year, there are more great community events to come in 2016 starting with Lunar Festival at North Rocks Park on 13 February. For more information on Lunar Festival or to see pictures from Australia Day at the Farm head to the Sydney Hills Events Facebook page.