FORGET the near gale force winds and early driving rain threatening to wash out the event, in true Aussie style, the Great Australia Day Beach Party in Yeppoon went ahead with thousands turning out to celebrate the day.
Event co-ordinator Bill Ludwig said it was one of the most challenging events ever for his team of volunteers and the performers but everyone dug deep to ensure the celebrations went ahead.
"Early in the morning it looked like we may have had to cancel with 30 knot plus winds and at times driving rain," Mr Ludwig said.
"Fortunately the rain cleared by 9am and our management team, volunteers, stage crew, SES and Council Parks crews showed us what true 'Aussie spirit' is about and pulled it all together for the community."
Mr Ludwig said it was an absolutely amazing effort by all concerned and, against the odds, the team was able to run with the entire stage program from 11am-8pm including the Ergon Monster fireworks finale.
Due to safety concerns the market stalls and on-beach activities had to be cancelled, all other activities went ahead and the crowd braved the gusty conditions.
Mr Ludwig said, in spite of the atrocious conditions, it was also great to see so many people still turn out to celebrate our national day and enjoy what was without a doubt one of the best entertainment programs ever.
"Obviously the crowds were down due to the weather but there was no dampening of the enthusiasm and community spirit that had always been the hallmark of our beach party celebrations on the Capricorn Coast over the 20 years that the event has been running," Mr Ludwig said.