Every year on 26 January, Darling Harbour hosts the nation’s biggest harbourside party, when FREE Australia Day festivities see Aussies of all backgrounds celebrate together at one of Sydney’s most lively and iconic destinations.
Before the Australia Day 2016 Spectacular evening program of fireworks, a special live performance by Sneaky Sound System and the official NSW Australia Day Council Ceremony on Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour will be buzzing with a dynamic day-time program of home-grown music, dance and children’s entertainment from 12pm.
At Palm Grove Sound Playground, a Loud Weird Load of found objects made into wild percussion instruments will create participatory fun for all ages.
Darling Quarter Culture Beats stage will showcase talented live performers from Darling Harbour’s many cultural festivals, including a variety of artists and sounds from Japan, Assyria, Africa and Australia.
Harbourside Culture Moves will showcase K-pop dancers from Crossover Dance Studio, Capoeira Topazio martial arts, Sirens Bollywood dancers and modern-urban and traditional Aboriginal dancers from the Jannawi Dance Clan.
Jazz on The Pier outside SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium will feature the Gypsy tunes of Trio Verencho, vaudeville jazz by Godfrey Uke and his orchestra and the Mojito Cuban quartet, led by Martin Taylor.
Roving stilts and music performers will amuse visitors, with bouncing kangaroos, giant seagulls, blossoms and sun stilt-walkers, the Uptown Brown one-man band, eight-piece brass Hot Potato Band and the Hi-Life Horns trio on stilts. The Best of Tropfest will also be showcased at Darling Harbour.
The Australia Day Spectacular night program will cap off the festivities with the biggest and brightest stars, sights and sounds on Cockle Bay from 6pm. As the sun sets, the official NSW Australia Day Ceremony will include an Australian of the Year segment, before one of Australia’s best dance-pop acts, Sneaky Sound System, spins the decks live on Cockle Bay from 8pm.
From 9pm, the Australia Day Spectacular fireworks and pyrotechnics display, set to a specially-produced mash-up of Sneaky Sound System songs and great Aussie classics, will present a breathtaking finish to the annual Darling Harbour event.
Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority Head of Programming, Sofia Gibson, says the Darling Harbour Australia Day event typically attracts the precinct’s biggest crowds of the year.
“Darling Harbour will be busy and viewing spots around Cockle Bay for the fireworks are prized; so take public transport, get to Darling Harbour early, enjoy the free festivities, settle in, and prepare to be bedazzled by another Australia Day Spectacular event,” says Ms Gibson.
Best entry to Darling Harbour is from the south, near the Chinese Garden of Friendship. Extra train, bus and light-rail services will operate to and from Darling Harbour.
Darling Harbour’s world-class variety of restaurants, cafés and clubs will trade on Australia Day, and families are welcome to enjoy packed picnics, however glass and BYO-alcohol are not permitted. Bags will be checked at all entry points, including Pyrmont Bridge, and anyone found with glass or alcohol must either discard those items or wait to be escorted by Rangers. Pyrmont Bridge may close to bicycle riders as early as 10am.WHAT: Darling Harbour Australia Day 2016
WHEN: 26/01/2016 (12:00 pm - 9:15 pm)
WHERE: Darling Harbour
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