You have to hand it to Kiama. We sure know how to put on a great show, and I don’t just mean the highly successful 170th agricultural show. After a blisteringly busy summer holiday period, culminating is Australia Day and the Kiama Show coinciding on the Friday, you could expect the town to take a breather.
But no, we have a busy couple of months ahead of us – and they’re going to be great.
Coming up next week is the Queen’s Baton Relay ahead of the Commonwealth Games. This will be a huge event and a chance for the community to get together and cheer on our Baton bearers.
Kiama residents selected for the baton bearing honour are Colin Rathbone (Kiama), David Leigh (Kiama), Heather McAlpine (Minnamurra), Kathleen Tanner (Kiama), Lloyd Ferguson (Gerringong), Nick McInerney (Kiama), and Sally Fitzgibbons (Gerroa).
They will be joined by other baton bearers from the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Sydney areas; Captain Fiona Sneath (Nowra), Don Hodgekiss (Warilla), Donald Brown (Oak Flats), John Chaplin (Mt Warrigal), Karen Murphy (Shell Cove), Kim Lacey (Oak Flats), Nayeli Gajardo (Sylvania), and Paul Houghton.
So we encourage everyone to get out on the day to lend their support.
Bookending the month, kicking off on February 24, is our own festival of the boot, the Kiama Rugby 7s. Attracting players from all over and thousands of visitors, it is the unofficial start of the rugby season.
It will make a welcome relief for footy tragics after a long, hot summer of cricket, cricket and more cricket.
March 9-11 sees the Kiama Jazz and Blues Festival, which always strikes a chord with locals and visitors alike. This year is special because the festival almost succumbed to a lack of funding. Given so much of it is free, it’s wonderful to see it brought back from the brink.
The music theme lifts tempo on April 14, with the Red Hot Summer Tour rocking into town (all of us will be praying for good weather).
Another who remembers their 1980s music will love the line-up, which includes Boom Crash Opera, Pseudo Echo, Shannon Noll, The Black Sorrows with Vika and Linda Bull, Mark Seymour, Baby Animals and Icehouse.
The holidays might be over but there is much to look forward to.