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LONGREACH CELEBRATES CITIZENSHIP, COMMUNITY, FOOD AND MUSIC AT AUSTRALIA DAY FESTIVAL

Longreach is celebrating Australia Day in style with a citizenship ceremony, award presentations and a food and music festival.

The Longreach Racecourse will be transformed for the event, with a variety of delicious tasting plates from market stalls, a live music program, garden games and even a cooling station for patrons keen to dance the day away.

A citizenship ceremony will welcome new citizens from India, Iraq and Russia on the day, and awards will be presented including Longreach Citizen of the Year.

The Great Australian Bites festival aims to celebrate Queensland’s unique lifestyle on Australia Day; showcasing local produce and the state’s most promising musical talent in an event that caters to the whole community. The event was first held in Brisbane in 2013 and Longreach is the first outback town to be invited to participate.

Mayor Ed Warren said securing the event was a worthy recognition of the region’s lifestyle.
“It’s a great fit because we have a unique lifestyle out here – it’s different to elsewhere in the state but still authentically Queensland” he told reporters on Tuesday.

“It’s important to celebrate that” he added. “A lot of locals leave town over the Australia Day holiday but we’re keen for them to stay and celebrate our great Aussie lifestyle here at home.”

Local restaurateurs have been busy preparing menus for their pop-up stalls, which will offer small plates for under $10 each.

Highlights include Harry’s Restaurant with their Barramundi & Crocodile Sliders and Gourmet Hot Dogs; Momo’s and selected curries from CCD/Curry Across the Street; Lamb Kofta Kebabs and Outback Beef with Damper by Longreach Outback Restaurant, plus many more tasty offerings.

Musically, crowds will be entertained by Rockhampton based artist “The Ferryman” as well as performances by local musicians including entertainer John Hawkes.

Food consultant, ABC presenter and Australia Day ambassador Alison Alexander will present a cooking demonstration, and a variety of Australia Day games and competitions will be held, with cash prizes up for grabs.

The event commences at 1:00pm at the Longreach Racecourse and is being organised by Longreach Regional Council with the assistance of the Queensland Government, in partnership with the Australian Government through the National Australia Day Council.