The starting lineup has been finalised for this year’s infamous Coolum Cup –The North Shore Realty Cane Toad Handicap Race, to be held in Tickle Park as part of Coolum’s Australia Day spectacular on 26 January.
An outstanding field of local talent has been assembled to jostle for top position amongst a knot of high-flying government toads in this year’s event, with race caller Don Knopke again producing an outrageously witty form guide.
The annual Coolum Cup form guide reads as a humorous ‘who’s who’ of local identities and being listed as one of the 20 toads in the starter’s box has become a much-coveted local honour.
This year, newcomer “Corporate Clive” is the favourite at 2-1 whilst last year’s favourite “Sink the Slipper” is given no hope by the punters and will start at 100-1.
“The Graduate” has replaced ‘Vivacious Vivienne’ in the town hall stable alongside fellow newcomer Jamieson’s Malt, and is ably supported by stablemates “Streetscape”, “Beautification”, “Roundabout” “Jack Morgan” and stable leader “Mrs Robinson.
All racing toads are up for auction to the highest bidder, with buy-it-now prices starting at $50 for local identities and ranging up to $120 for the favourite ‘Corporate Clive’.
The Coolum Cup Cane Toad Open Handicap will run from 3pm on Australia Day, and follows a full day of patriotic fun in Tickle Park, starting with the Coolum Lionesses historic Aussie Day Breakfast on the Beach from 7am.
Always a highlight of the big day is the town’s Grand Parade, which makes an exciting return in 2013 (after a two-year hiatus) thanks to the generous support of Bendigo Bank and Sunshine Coast Council.
Commencing at 10am, the parade is a favourite with locals and sees hundreds of flag waving Aussies lining David Low Way. Entry in the Grand Parade is free with $100 cash prizes awarded for the Best Overall Entry, Best Junior Club or Group, Best Aussie Theme and Best Business Entry.
The Lions are also calling for volunteers to carry one of the many Lions District Flags in the parade to help celebrate Australia’s multiculturalism.
The Coolum Beach Surf Club Fun Run will precede the Parade, while the jam-packed program also includes Coolum’s official Australia Day Volunteer and Citizen of the Year Awards.
Nominations are now being called for the three categories of:
1. Citizen of the Year – A person who has made an outstanding contribution to the community over several years, either professionally, voluntarily or both, who deserves recognition for his/her efforts.
2. Volunteer of the Year – A person who has made an outstanding long term contribution to the community as a volunteer, who deserves recognition for his/her efforts.
3. Community Group of the Year – A community not-for-profit association, sporting club, church group or other group that has made a difference in the community over a number of years.
Nominations close on January 23 – see below for a link to the Nomination Form.
Australia Day in Coolum holds the record as the coast’s longest running Australia Day celebrations – starting from 7:00am with breakfast and market stalls; and finishing at 7:30pm with a spectacular fireworks display – and has become the most anticipated event on the local calendar.
Presented by the Coolum Lions (in partnership with the Lionesses), the day’s celebrations also feature plenty of Aussie themed games and prizes, including thong throwing, tug-o-war and ironman races, as well as a spectacular Australia Day skydiving display and non-stop entertainment on the main stage.
Copies of the full program, the hilarious Coolum Cup form guide, parade information and awards nomination form are available for download by clicking here.