If you’re like me and you’re not from Australia and are not connected to it in any way, then it may be possible you’ve never heard of ‘Australia Day’. As far as I can make out, it’s much like July 4th in America (Independence Day), except it’s 26th January here (chosen because the 26th January 1788, was the date on which the First Fleet, under Captain Arthur Phillip arrived at Sydney Cove and set up the Colony of New South Wales).
Anyway, it just so happens that this year Australia Day landed on the Friday of the Tunarama Festival here in Port Lincoln and so the town was alive with life! Well… for Port Lincoln it was.
We didn’t quite feel energetic enough to be up at 7am or so for a ‘fun run’ and then a free fry cooked by the Mayor of the town. Instead, we headed into town around noon.
To be honest, there wasn’t much going on. There were a few things of interest, but not enough to keep a few people in their mid-twenties entertained. Sadly, some of us have been spoilt by such grand events as the ‘Major’s Show’ and the ‘Ballymoney Fair’ (those familiar with either will note the sarcasm). However, it was interesting to see. Particularly the World Champion Tuna Toss, which some people take quite seriously.
There were various stalls selling the usual counterfeit sunglasses and clothes, and all the familiar carnival games where you pay good money to attempt a near impossible task to win a deformed looking Tigger probably made by a six-year-old living in a shantytown sweatshop along the Yangtze River in China.
I was also surprised that it wasn’t busier. It’s a public holiday and almost everywhere is closed for the day, but it wasn’t anywhere near as busy as I expected. Maybe most of the locals head away for the day, having seen it all many times over.