30 January 2023

Nine things to do in the Riverina this week (1 - 7 July)

| Anna Maskus
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Sausages on barbecue

Barbecue, comedy, art, sport, films and festivals – you’re spoiled for choice this weekend, Wagga. Photo: File.

Lots on as usual across Wagga this week – comedians aplenty, music festivals, basketball, art shows and of course, it wouldn’t be midwinter without a snow machine. Read on to find out how to entertain yourself and your family this week.


Comedian Bron Lewis on stage

Bron Lewis (pictured), alongside Alexandra Hudson, was named joint winner of the 2022 RAW Comedy Grand Final – the first time the award had been split in 27 years. Photo: Jim Lee Photo.

Melba’s Bakehouse presents Bron Lewis: YEP!

When: Friday 1 July, 7 pm
Where: Melba’s Bakehouse, Baylis Street, Wagga
Cost: $25 per person (18+ only), bookings essential and tickets available here

Brisbane-based comic Bron Lewis posted on Instagram declaring she is “over the moon to return to Wagga” where she was born, to perform her show YEP! at Melba’s Bakehouse in the heart of the city. Milbrulong-born Laurence Driscoll is Lewis’ opening act and is just as keen to revisit the Riverina. However, “If he tries to upstage me,” Lewis said, “I’ll be throwing him in the river.” Strap yourself in for embarrassing stories delivered with the trademark dry wit that co-won Lewis top gong at the Raw Comedy Grand Final this year. Come on down to Melba’s, grab a drink and laugh the night away with our very own Coolamon girl.


Flyer for free community barbecue

Warm up on Saturday morning and enjoy the newly-opened Wagga Beach precinct with a free sausage sizzle for mental health awareness. Photo: Pastorale by Meccanico.

Pastorale by Meccanico proudly presents: Free Community BBQ

When: Saturday 2 July, from 9 am
Where: Wagga Beach, Johnson Street
Cost: Free

A score of Wagga businesses has pulled together to support men’s mental health. Australian charity Grab Life By The Balls highlights the benefits of strong friendships for men’s health by running laid-back events for blokes nationwide. Head down to Wagga Beach on Saturday morning to grab a free sausage provided by Blake Street Country Fresh Meats, enjoy the new playground, and listen to some tunes from local musos Vino & Vinyl. Pastorale also wants to thank Wagga Fruit Supply for their support.

Flyer for Freeze Short Film Festival

Wagga Art Gallery, Wagga City Council and NSW Government’s Winter Break Holiday Program will support the Freeze Short Film Festival program. Image: #VisitWagga.

Wagga Art Gallery presents Freeze Short Film Festival Program

When: Saturday 2 July, 1 pm – Sunday 17 July, 4 pm
Where: Wagga Art Gallery, Morrow Street
Cost: Free, bookings essential, register here

If you are interested in learning to animate, act or direct your own short film, Wagga Art Gallery has you covered. Across the winter school holidays the Freeze Short Film Festival program workshops will teach the region’s young creatives to perform, animate, act and edit videos and wrap up with a film competition and screening afternoon (with major prizes to be won). Learn skills from animation and motion designer Alice Peacock and emerging local theatre company Freeroam Theatre. Please note: Anyone interested in participating in the program must attend the Saturday 2 July Session with their choice of Workshop #1 or #2.

Festival Flyer

Soundbreak is the first ever underage music festival to hit the Riverina. Image: Soundbreak.

M.A.N.I.C Entertainment presents Soundbreak Underage Music Festival

When: Saturday 2 July, 3 pm – 10 pm (music will cease at 9 pm)
Where: Wagga Showground, Cnr. Bourke & Urana Streets
Cost: $33 general admission tickets, book here

This is the first ever underage music festival to hit the Riverina, so make sure your kids don’t miss out. A variety of food and non-alcoholic beverages will be available to purchase at the event, as well as access to free water for everyone on site. The lineup includes talent like DJ Achyman, Jack Savage, Matty Loco, Esvest and more to be announced.

Flyer for basketball game

Wagga Heat versus Hornsby Ku-Ring-Gai Spiders at the Waratah League home game. Image: Facebook.

Union Club Hotel Wagga Heat vs. Hornsby Ku-Ring-Gai Spiders

When: Saturday 2 July, 5 pm
Where: Bolton Park Stadium, Morgan Street, Wagga
Cost: Adults $5 entry at the door, kids free entry

Bring the whole family down to watch the best basketballers in the Riverina. Cheer on the Wagga Heat as they play the Hornsby Ku-Ring-Gai Spiders in the Waratah League Men’s competition. Drinks and BBQ available at the venue.


Flyer for band Bitter Shoosh and open mic night

Bitter Shoosh hasn’t performed at the Duke of Kent since 2019. Photo: Bidgee Blues & Roots Club.

July Open Mic Afternoon at the Duke

When: Sunday 3 July, 2 pm
Where: Duke of Kent Hotel, Fitzmaurice Street, Wagga
Cost: $10 entry, $5 for Bidgee Blues & Roots Club members (EFTPOS available)

“Hard driving, solid, original Aussie music!” was the verdict after the first Bitter Shoosh gig in 2013. The Wagga-based band draws influences from a wide range of genres and artists, too many to be named, but they’re bringing their unique blend of Aussie country, blues and roots vibes to open and close the Open Mic at the Duke of Kent Hotel. Walk-ups are more than welcome on the day. Open mic performers must click here to register, send the Club an email ([email protected]) or message their Facebook page.

Flyer for food truck festival

It’s not just food – kids’ rides, carnival games and even an outdoor snow machine are bringing the best of winter to Wagga. Photo: Aussie Food Trucks.

Aussie Food Trucks presents the Wagga Winter Food Trucks Fair

When: Sunday 3 July, 12 pm – 8 pm
Where: Wagga Showgrounds, Cnr. Bourke & Urana Streets
Cost: Free entry

The Food Truck Festival visits Wagga a few times a year but this one-day-only festival is set to be bigger and better than ever. The outdoor snow machine is sure to be a hit with the young and young at heart. From brisket to burgers, chicken to candyfloss, there is bound to be a snack to delight anybody who visits. Keep the kids occupied with carnival games and rides while you munch – a $25 wristband entitles you to unlimited rides.


Wagga local artist Jasmine Williams holding one of her paintings

Wagga local Jasmine Williams with her work at the LikeMind Art Showcase in 2019. Photo: LikeMind Wagga.

LikeMind proudly presents NAIDOC Week Art Showcase

When: Monday 4 July, 11 am – 1 pm
Where: LikeMind Office, 46-52 Baylis Street, Wagga
Cost: Free entry

Kick off NAIDOC Week with LikeMind’s exhibition of works by local Indigenous artists, centred around this year’s theme: “Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!”. Pop into the shop on Baylis Street, meet the team and admire the works – maybe even buy one for yourself. LikeMind provides free support services for those struggling with ill mental health or addictions, financial counselling and much more. Come down and support this excellent local service, brought to you by Stride (formerly known as Aftercare) and Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) Mental Health & Drug and Alcohol Services.


Flyer for trivia

After his COVID lockdown event “Servo Bingo” was a smash hit, Dane Simpson is bringing back the favourite Thirsty Crow trivia night for another run, all the way up until December, so if you can’t make it this week, don’t fret. Photo: Thirsty Crow Brewery.

Trivia Thursdays @ Thirsty Crow with Dane Simpson

When: Thursday 7 July, 7 pm – 9 pm
Where: Thirsty Crow Brewery, Fitzmaurice Street, Wagga
Cost: Free (booking ahead recommended)

Local legend Dane Simpson still runs a regular comedy room at Que Bar and a “Gong Show” open mic night at Melba’s Bakehouse. The comedian just headlined the Wagga Comedy Festival with his award-winning show Didgeridoozy, but he’s back in the hot seat at the Thirsty Crow, joined by Sam and El as always, to throw some questions at you and your mates. Fantastic prizes are up for grabs as always, so make sure you book ahead by calling 6921 7470 to secure a table and walk-ins are also welcome provided there is space.

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