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For all tastes great and small

Jimmy Barnes and Peppa Pig on the one weekend? Canberra really is the place to be for next week's Australia Day festivities.

All eyes will be on Canberra on Friday with the Australian of the Year awards followed by the Australia Celebrates Live concert on the lawns of Parliament House.

The announcement of the awards will be at 6pm and broadcast live on ABC1.

The free concert is set to start at 7.30pm and will feature The Presets, Jimmy Barnes, Guy Sebastian and Canberra's own Timomatic.

TV personality James Mathison and actress Kate Ritchie will host the concert. Early birds can gain entry from 3pm.

The fun continues next Saturday, January 26, with a big Australia Day celebration in Commonwealth Park. It kicks off at 7.30am with a barbecue breakfast at Stage 88. And then everyone's favourite big sister Peppa Pig appears on Stage 88 at 9.30am, 10.30am and 11.30am. She will also meet fans at 12.30pm. Los Chavos will perform at noon.


At nearby Rond Terrace at 9am there will be a flag raising and 21 gun salute. The citizenship ceremony will start there at 9.25am.

Then join the crowds at Regatta Point, Rond Terrace or the lawns of the National Library of Australia from 7pm to watch the fireworks at 9pm. Entertainment and food stalls will be on hand.

There will also be an Australia Day race day at Thoroughbred Park on Friday. Gates will open at noon for the eight-race program.

Tradies backs local drops

The Tradies Group is getting behind the local wine industry and now selling only Canberra district wines at its licensed clubs at Woden and Dickson.

The wine list went exclusively local last month and has been received well, says Tradies Group chief executive officer Rob Docker, who was instrumental in making the shift.

''I always took the view that the hospitality venues pretend to support the ACT wine industry but the proof is in the pudding. Not many have really put their money where their mouth is,'' he said. ''… It's worked well for us and we've had nothing but pretty positive feedback about the initiative.''

The move could be a boost for the wine industry with the Tradies Group boasting 47,000 members.

''We want to introduce them to the beauty of the Canberra wine district,'' he said.

Mr Docker said wine sales used to constitute 3.5 per cent of beverage sales for the group.

''We've got a target of 10 per cent. At the moment, since we've introduced the Canberra wines, we've jumped to 5 per cent,'' he said.

Green Fairy lights up Canberra

Canberra's drink du jour this summer is set to be the Green Fairy, a cocktail being offered at the National Gallery of Australia's Sculpture Bar, which reopened on Friday night.

The Toulouse-Lautrec/ Moulin Rouge-inspired cocktail is a mix of vodka and absinthe, the latter supposedly being the drink of choice of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, whose works are now on show at the gallery.

And just for the record, the absinthe isn't the old-school, mind-altering stuff but a modified, legal version.

There is a change this year with the Sculpture Bar being brought indoors to the Sculpture Garden Restaurant to protect patrons against any summer storms.

There will still be seating in the grounds under the trees, and the famous Fog Sculpture will be in use to add to the ambience and cool down the visitors. Green fairy lights will also add to the atmosphere.

The bar opens at 5pm every Friday until the end of March. Music will be provided by local DJs including Ashley Feraude.