10 ways to celebrate Australia Day in the US (with a giveaway!)

Celebrate Australia Day in the US

At a loss for ways to celebrate Australia Day in the US? If you don’t have Aussie friends or a community around you, you might end up feeling like there’s no one to share the joys of being from The Great Southern Land.

There’s no reason why you can’t take the celebrations to work and make everyone an honorary Aussie for the day. Otherwise, check out my guides to finding Aussie expat communities in San Francisco or across the US!

Disclosure: I won’t celebrate Australia Day on the 26th this year, because I don’t think it’s inclusive of all Australians, and it represents the beginning of all the bad things that colonisation meant for the Aboriginal people.

That, however, doesn’t mean that I won’t celebrate it on January 27th, along with the Triple J Hottest 100. I’m not adding this to be political or controversial. It’s just how I feel about it all, you’re free to celebrate it when or however you want to.

1. CONFUSE AN AMERICAN COMP

This one is great if you have a bunch of Aussies to witness your prowess with bogan slang. You can either take turns or get together in a pub or somewhere similar and embark on this as a group.

What’s more patriotic than celebrating Australia Day in the US by taking the piss out of Americans? The answer to that is nothing.

Here’s what you do: walk up to an American and string together the most bogan sentence you can think of. Basically one that you’d never even say within the bounds of our “girt by sea” nation. Keep a straight face while they look at you with a bewildered expression. Walk away or see how long you can keep it up before cracking up.

If you need some help putting something together, check out my blog on Aussie words and phrases that Americans don’t understand.

Or watch this clip:

Whoever gets the best reaction out of the poor, unsuspecting Yank wins. You should probably shout the winner a beer as well, just to keep things typically bogan.

2. SWAP THE BARBIE FOR COLD WEATHER COMFORT

Yeah, you heard right, I said ditch the BBQ. Hear me out before you start scrambling to shun this suggestion.

This time of year in lots of parts of the US is not pleasant. It’s cold, rainy, windy and in a lot of places it’s icy and snowy. So who really wants to stand outside on BBQ duty? Not me.

And even if you have a garage do you really want to suffocate from the smoke? Instead, go for something using Aussie ingredients, that’s delicious and even your US mates will love.

Get the recipe for Bundaberg Ginger Beer Pulled Chicken burgers right here. If you want to be super Aussie, slap some pineapple on for good measure.

If a Ginger Beer burger is one step too far for you, never fear, check out this recipe for Ginger Beer bundt cake instead!

Bundaberg Gingerbeer for Australia Day

Walk around saying “Bundeeeeeee” for a bit and you’ll get in the spirit in no time.

Bundaberg  Brewed Drinks has kindly given Bright Lights of America a pack to giveaway*! [This giveaway is now closed, congratulations to winner Phil Bourke!]

As a total side note, I had surgery in the US late last year so Mr M and his parents were nice enough to be prepared early and stocked up on the Bundaberg Ginger Beer to settle my stomach in advance. It made a huge difference to have a taste of home!

3. WATCH THE CASTLE

It’s an Australian classic, a movie that stands the test of time and transcends generations. In summing up, it’s the constitution, it’s Mabo, it’s justice, it’s law, it’s the vibe and… aah no, that’s it… it’s the vibe. I rest my case.

The Kerrigan family first graced our screens two decades ago and they’ve had a special place in our true blue hearts ever since.

This is much more fun if you watch it with people from other countries and refuse to explain any of it. Just watch them. It’s doubly hilarious. Then spend the rest of the week walking around asking “How’s the Serenity?” and saying things like “This is going straight to the pool room” and “Tell him he’s dreamin’!”.

You can try the same with Muriel’s Wedding but I think it might be more of an acquired taste.

4. GET A PIE INYA

Nothing will make you feel like you’re back home at the footy or at the school canteen then a meat pie or a sausage roll.

You can make your own and there are plenty of recipes out there to help you do it, or you can bypass all of the fuss and annoyance of “soggy bottoms” by buying some.

Celebrate Australia Day in the US with meat pies and sausage rolls

There are some great Aussie-style bakeries around the country that make and ship classic meat pies to your doorstep, and you can find the closest one to you (and best) from this list.

5. THE LAMB AD

While we’re on the topic of food, let’s talk about lamb. Depending on where you live in the US, it can get pretty pricey and difficult to find.

But sometimes only a lamb roast will do to celebrate Australia Day in the US, so what are you to do?

First of all, convince your family/friends that you NEED a lamb roast otherwise it’s not really Australia Day. You can do that by making them watch this year’s lamb ad. Or go straight to 2016’s version, which is my favourite and I’ve helpfully provided for you.

Now get yourself to Costco or a specialty butcher and spend some of your hard-earned dosh on that leg of lamb. It’s only once a year. It’s worth it!

6. KILLER TUNES

It’s not a party without some killer tunes and we all know that the only place to get them is on Triple J.

When we were younger, we’d wish each other a Happy Hottest 100 Day because it seemed a little more fitting to us. Especially since we had to work that day. No beach for farmers.

Don’t like the Hottest 100? Check out my Spotify Playlist of tunes that remind me of Australia!

Anyway, no matter the time of day or night, crack a tinnie, kick back and listen to the best songs of last year. Get your mates round and bet on the top song or where your favourite will come out in the list.

Dance till dawn and if you’re really brave, set up a kiddie pool in the house. Just go to the JJJ website and click Listen Live to stream!

7. TIM TAM SLAM COMP

Any gathering brings out my competitive spirit, but this one really speaks to me since it combines talent and wit with eating.

Get yourself a value pack of Tim Tams at the very least, and if you don’t have a gathering to get to, take them with you to work.

Explain the concept to all those poor people who haven’t yet had the good fortune to meet a Tim Tam or use them on a competitive basis.

When you inevitably win, let it be known that you will require the other participants to supply you with a replacement Tim Tam packet.

8. GREEN & GOLD

On any other day I’d ask if you were OK if I saw you in the street wearing green and gold. Or I’d stop and wonder whether the Olympics were on.

Ularu in the Northern Territory

But on Australia Day, you can find your most patriotic clothing and wear them proudly. It doesn’t have to be too crazy on the colourful scale. A necklace or a tie will do.

Or, maybe your green and gold flip flops? Thongs for us purists.

9.  ROACH RACES

This is here especially four our New Yorker Aussies. You know how some pubs in Australia hold races with the weirdest animals to celebrate Australia Day?

Well here’s the New York equivalent. Capture as many of the little vermin as you can and keep them in a shoebox till the big day.

Then create a little racetrack  and bet on which creepy crawly will make it to the finish line the fastest. Personally I won’t be doing this because roaches are my worst nightmare, but I’m sure someone out there will be game!

10. LISTEN TO AUSSIE PODCASTS

My favourite thing to do, Australia Day or not, is to listen to Australian podcasts. It gives you a nice hit of Aussie accents and makes you feel like you’re a bit more in tune with what’s going on back home.

Comedy is my bag so my recommendations will basically be the funny ones:

GIVEAWAY

Bundaberg Brewed Drinks has offered a pack of its (non-alcoholic) drinks to giveaway. All you need to do is leave a comment telling me how you celebrate Australia Day in the US!

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to winner Phil Bourke!

Here are the T’s & C’s:

1. The prize is a pack of Bundaberg Brewed Drinks.

2. This is is a game of skill. Chance plays no part in determining the winner. Each entry will be individually judged, based upon individual creative merit.

3. To be eligible you must leave a comment sharing how you celebrate Australia Day in the US.

4. Only one entry per person, but you can share this post with your friends so they can enter as well.

5. The giveaway is only open to those living in the US and is not transferable.

6. The giveaway opens Tuesday, January 23, 2018 6AM PST  and closes midnight PST on Saturday, January 27, 2018.

8. The winner will be announced on the blog and notified on Monday, January 29, 2018 and the prize mailed to them.

Australia Day | Australia Day in the US | Celebrate Australia Day | Things to do on Australia Day | #AustraliaDay | #CelebrateAustraliaDayintheUS | USA | expats in America | expat life in the US | expat life

12 thoughts on “10 ways to celebrate Australia Day in the US (with a giveaway!)

  1. Australia day….sausage rolls, meat pies and for dessert, Pavlov and lamingtons all while pls a game of squatter and drinking some rum

  2. We are “celebrating” Australia Day by our kids (13, 11 & 9) taking some Minties to school. We were driving around on Saturday when the topic of Australia Day came up and the girls asked if they could take something in for their classmates; after saying it’s probably too late, we jumped on the computer, saw that Aussie Products in San Jose was open, so jumped in the car and drove 1 1/2 hours from Napa to the store; spent an hour wandering around and, $200 later, left with a giant bag of Minties and other goodies for the 1 1/2 hour drive back to Napa.

    Along with the Minties, I have demonstrated the Minties challenge (who can tear a Minties wrapper into the longest, unbroken strip) which they will share with their friends in the class (I did an okay one and they are taking that as an example; never thought my Mintie tearing skills would be considered a prime example; low bar set!!). Our 9 year old also wrote up an explanation of Australia Day (history, BBQs, beach) share and, after some discussion, she included a bit about the controversy, relating it to Columbus Day in the US.

    So on Friday, three classrooms in two schools in Napa will be eating Minties, tearing wrappers and getting a mini-Australia Day history lesson.

    1. Nice work Phil! I’d forgotten about the Mintie wrapper tearing challenge. I love that your kids are spreading the Aussie joy around. And that you did that 2.5 hour drive to facilitate it. Onya mate!

  3. I think I might wander round saying “Bundeeeeeee” for a bit anyway? It’s going to be my first Australia Day in Australia tomorrow, so I’m quite looking forward to it. I’m not sure I’ll be ‘celebrating’ per se, because of what you said, plus I’m British which I think makes the whole thing a bit more problematic. But I’m going to experience all the festivities in the harbour that I can and try to find some lamb to eat!

    1. All excellent things to do Rachel! How’s your Australian sojourn going? I hope you’ve settled in and are enjoying the “warm” weather…

  4. Fabulous. I’m deeply conflicted about Aus Day these days too – and think we should separate the date. I love my country and am grateful I was born, raised, and live here. I’m not proud of some of our history and think the celebration of our nation needs to be separated from the arrival of the First Fleet and what that means to Indigenous Australians. As an aside, just how good are the recipes on the Bundy site? When we were there in October I told them they needed to publish it. I swear by their lemon lime & bitters scones.

    1. I totally agree with you Jo. I think it’s fine to celebrate all the good things that Australia stands for… on a day that ALL Australians can celebrate.
      Meanwhile, I’m dying to try that burger recipe and a few more on that list! 🙂 The scones sound fab!

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