National pride pours out as Cairns celebrates
THE wet weather subsided just in time for the Far North to celebrate Australia Day and boy, did the region celebrate!
From the conventional to the quirky, revellers stepped out to honour what makes our country unique.
Cairns mother Joy Gadek was holding a fundraiser on the Cairns Esplanade, where hundreds were taking part in Cairns Regional Council's Australia Day events.
She said the Esplanade was a safe place for her young sons Luke, 10, and Riley, 9, to celebrate.
"I was just so pleasantly surprised by the spirit of unity that was on display," she said.
"Everyone was together celebrating our fantastic country.
"We all know what a great country we live in, and I think Australians are proud of that. And Cairns is a very special part of that country."
Over at Cazalys an Australia Day upset was in order.
Winner of the previous two pie eating contests, Mark Sheehan, was toppled by unknown challenger Paul Atto, who claimed the $1000 prize by eating four pies in 43 seconds.
Cazalys marketing co-ordinator Keryl Cameron said about 50 people competed in the annual Australia Day event.
"It was just a great mood shared by everyone," she said.
"The contest was great, there was a lot of laughs, as there always is."
At Gordonvale more than $10,000 was raised for the local RSL through a car and motorbike show that featured around 200 bikes.
Gordonvale RSL vice president Frank Miotto said the event was so successful they may hold another one this year.
"We could not believe the support that was there, if you stepped out of the RSL and looked over the grounds you would not have believed it," he said.
"It was the greatest thing that could happen."
However, not everyone was celebrating in the right spirit, Cairns police said.
Acting Insp Chris Hodgman said officers attended 634 incidents and caught 20 drink-drivers in the period between noon Friday and noon yesterday.
NEW CAIRNS.COM.AU COMMENT POLICY
We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Comments submitted without a full name and suburb/location will not be considered for publication. Please read our full comment policy and publication guidelines.
Share this article
In the spirit: Georgia Strahan, 5, and Lilly Strahan, 2, cuddle a kangaroo. Picture: TOM LEE