BARBECUES are being wheeled out, streamers hung, and half time refreshments prepared, as Wangaratta gets set for one of the most iconic events on the Australian calendar, the AFL grand final.
Grand final week remains an important one to the nation’s culture – from the glamor and dramatic vote-calling of Brownlow night, through the Grand Final Footy Show, to today’s parade, tonight’s footy marathon, and tomorrow’s breakfasts and lead-in coverage.
And for those whose teams are in the mix, the excitement can reach fever pitch, whether they’re heading to the MCG or watching from the couch or over a barbie.
Wangaratta’s Joe and Mary-Jane Cannata will hit the road to Melbourne tomorrow, after securing tickets to the grand final to watch their beloved Hawthorn take on Sydney.
The brother and sister, who took up Kennedy membership this year, have been Hawks fans since childhood, when the halcyon years and players like Brereton, Dunstall and Platten drew their attention.
The pair has been at the ‘G’ for the last two grand finals (Mary-Jane was also there when the Hawks won in 2008), and are keen to see their side claim back-to-back flags.
Meanwhile, passionate Swan Kristen Ackroyd and daughter Maya, who has followed in her footsteps to support the Bloods, will be among local fans watching the game from home.
Kristen said husband Jeremy and son Kobe, both Cats fans, would also be there lending support, but the crowd would be kept to a minimum.