The Parkes Shire 2021 Australia Day celebrations will look a little different this year due to the current COVID-19 guidelines and event restrictions.
Although Parkes and surrounding townships will celebrate Australia Day on Tuesday, Parkes Shire Council said the award ceremonies and gatherings will be scaled-down versions of what generally occurs across the shire.
The popular Australia Day ceremony that includes the community, cultural and sport awards, in Cooke Park is still going ahead but will be a fenced-off event.
The Australia Day morning walk and breakfast (location and times below) in town are still expected to go ahead but the Parkes Action Club's Kite Festival has unfortunately been cancelled this year.
The Parkes Harness Racing Club's Australia Day twilight meeting is still planned to go ahead, with the first race at 6.38pm.
However there will be no iconic yabby race at this event this year.
The shire also will not have an Australia Day ambassador.
"Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions in place across NSW, we will not have a 2021 Australia Day ambassador attend the celebrations in the Parkes Shire," Parkes Shire Mayor, Cr Ken Keith OAM said.
"Instead, Parkes Shire councillors and Australia Day committee representatives will acknowledge community members at a local level."
Cr Keith said this year is particularly important to recognise the outstanding people and groups in the community who have positively contributed to the culture, community and environment during the pandemic.
"[The Australia Day] awards give us the opportunity to publicly acknowledge and reward the marvellous contributions citizens and groups make at a local level," he said.
"Unfortunately some events have been cancelled or scaled-back this year due to NSW Health COVID-19 event restrictions and we ask that residents attending the 2021 Australia Day events please practice physical distancing, follow the NSW Health guidelines and stay home if you are unwell."
The annual Australia Day celebrations will predominately focus on the award celebrations to recognise and acknowledge community, sporting, environmental and cultural contributions across the Shire.
All events will be free of charge, however visitors will need to comply with the current COVID-19 restrictions.
Parkes Shire Council will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and adapt Australia Day activities as necessary to comply with NSW Health restrictions.
Cr Keith said Parkes, Peak Hill, Tullamore, Bogan Gate and Trundle will each hold its own Australia Day celebrations and community gatherings.
7am - Australia Day begins with a community walk at 7am at Cooke Park, followed by a free breakfast at Cooke Park. Breakfast is sponsored by Totally WorkWear Parkes and 2PK.
Breakfast will be pre-packaged due to COVID-19 guidelines.
10am - All Australian Car Display at Cooke Park.
10.30am - Live entertainment by the Parkes Shire Band at Cooke Park.
11am - Official ceremony at Cooke Park and presentation of civic, cultural, environmental and sports awards.
2pm-6pm - Free entry at the Parkes Aquatic Centre.
From 6.30pm - Australia Day harness racing meeting.
AROUND THE SHIRE
Peak Hill - Memorial Park and Pool:
7am-7.30am Community barbecue breakfast, 7.30am official ceremony, 10am-7pm Peak Hill Pool open with free entry.
Tullamore - Memorial Park and Pool:
8.30am Flag raising at Memorial Park, 10am-2pm Brunch, games, inflatable and free entry at Tullamore Pool.
Trundle - Berryman Oval and Pool:
4pm Picnic at Berryman Oval (BYO chairs and picnic), 4.30pm Ceremony and award presentations, 11am-7pm Trundle Pool open with free entry.
Bogan Gate - Memorial Park and Bogan Gate Hall:
7.30am Flag raising, welcome and address at Memorial Park, 8am Community breakfast at Bogan Gate Hall.