With bush poet Greg North dressed up as a country coalminer, garden gnomes painted green and gold and the smell of barbecue sauce in the air — you couldn’t have found a more Aussie place to be on Australia Day than Glenbrook Park.
Adding to the atmosphere was a flag-raising ceremony by the Glenbrook Girl Guides and a visit by gardening guru Don Burke and NSW Governor Marie Bashir.
That’s why the town’s big Aussie Day party — presented by the Lower Blue Mountains Rotary Club — was packed with people on Sunday.
And while not a record crowd, the thousands that did come stayed around for longer, perhaps because of the cooler conditions but also because there was plenty to see and do.
The jumping castle, carnival rides, egg-and-spoon races and gnome painting proved a hit with the kids, while market stalls, musicians, young dancers from Fanci Footwork and the Blue Mountains Pipe Band kept everyone entertained.
As usual the real crowd-pleaser was the Australian Gnome Convention — which reached its 10th anniversary — and offered some new touches including an art-and-craft section for the kids, a ‘gnome-go-round’ and a pair of gnomes going fishing.
Governor Marie Bashir said she was delighted to return to the Blue Mountains for the occasion of Australia Day after enjoying spending time in the region during last year’s Blue Mountains Crossings Bicentenary events.
Professor Bashir also expressed her support for Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes being named 2014 Australian of the Year, describing it as “a very pleasing decision”.