Melbourne is a great city – just ask the people who live there. But even if you’re not a Melburnian, you can still celebrate the city’s 180th birthday.
You may not have been aware but Melbourne has a big birthday coming up. The city’s birthday is on Sunday 30 August and this year Victoria’s beloved capital turns 180 years young.
The Melbourne Day committee has spent the past 19 years organising activities and events to raise awareness of the coffee capital and this year is no exception. Melbourne Day is inviting all Melburnians to help celebrate 180 marvellous years with a range of exciting activities including the official Flag Raising Ceremony at Enterprize Park on the Sunday morning, followed by a free concert in the Docklands featuring Aussie music legends Daryl Braithwaite and Russell Morris who are both, naturally, Melbourne born and bred.
It’s Australia’s most liveable city (sorry Sydney, we’re going to be like this all year) and on that note, how well do you really know your city?
Here are 10 facts you should probably swat up on and then pull out at dinner parties impress:
- Batmania: before Melbourne got its present name, it was called Batmania, Bearbrass, Bearport, Bareheap and Bearbury.
- Melbourne’s first cat: Melbourne’s first cat is believed to have arrived in 1835 aboard the Enterprize and was owned by Mary Gilbert, one of the ship’s passengers.
- Luna Park: The world’s oldest, privately-owned theme park – Luna Park – has been open since 1912
- Freddo Frog born in Melbourne: MacRobertson’s Stream Confectionery Works invented famous chocolate products, such as Freddo Frogs (1930), which is one of Australia’s most popular children’s chocolates and considered an Australian icon.
- Australia’s Capital for 26 years: Melbourne was the nation’s capital city for 26 years, between 1901 and 1927 – before we got Canberra
- World record for highest attendance at cricket and footy: Melbourne holds the world record for highest attendance at a cricket match, with a total of 91,092 spectators in 1961. The MCG also holds the record for a sporting event – AFL, 121,696, Grand Final: Carlton v Collingwood on 26/09/1970.
- It’s illegal to trade with pirates: According to the Crimes Act of 1958, if you meet a pirate in Melbourne, you must not trade with them.
- Vegemite invented and made in Melbourne: The story began in 1922 when a young chemist was hired to develop a spread from one of the richest known natural sources in the Vitamin B group. It was labelled ‘Pure Vegetable Extract’ and manufactured solely at the Vegemite factory near Port Melbourne.
- Melburnians are banned from making rain: According to the Rain Making Control Act 1966, Melburnians are banned from carrying out unauthorised rain-making operations.
- A ticket to Melbourne: Immigrants leaving Britain in 1852 bought more tickets to Melbourne than to any other destination in the world.
- World’s No 1 liveable city: Melbourne was ranked the world’s most liveable city four years in a row. And has been among the top three since 2002, according the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Sorry – we couldn’t help ourselves with the 11th!
For more information visit Melbourne Day.
Do you have a fun fact about Melbourne, or your city, to share?