The blazing sun didn’t deter the Gunnedah community&nbsp;from heading outdoors to celebrate&nbsp;Australia Day. Touted as Gunnedah’s biggest program yet, there was no shortage of activities for locals to be a part of on the weekend. Highlights included the Australia Day Awards, triathlon, citizenship ceremony and Aussiefest at the Gunnedah Rugby Club. READ ALSO: Australia Day committee chair Rob Hooke attended many of the events and said it was a “wonderful” day. “I can’t believe the amount of enthusiasm and particularly from the district despite the weather,” he said. “The weather was pretty atrocious but people came out in droves.” The thermometer hit 41 degrees on Saturday, with high-intensity activities held in the morning, including the touch football cups at the rugby club. “There was an amazing crowd that went out to the rugby club, but it was too hot for the backyard cricket,” Mr Hooke said. “There was a lot of fun there and a good crowd of people having a wonderful time.” Jac Dalton and an orchestra entertained crowds at both the awards dinner and rugby club as part of the South Australia Nip-the-Drought Initiative. “I think the record they played called I Can Almost Taste the Rain was cut at the dinner on Friday night,” Mr Hooke said. “It was absolutely wonderful entertainment and they’re great guys. They’re full of so much humour and cheer. “People said the Australia Day dinner was wonderful … I think Lauren Mackley really deserves the accolades. She worked so hard and so did her little group of tireless workers.” READ ALSO:&nbsp;Parading for a purpose: farmers spruik anti-mining message There was free entry at the pool on Saturday and families flocked to the new complex. “The swimming pool was packed. They had a lot of fun events there,” Mr Hooke said. The chair said the water slide was popular and the lilo race across the pool in the afternoon was “hysterical”. Gunnedah shire’s pubs got in the action as well, hosting eating contests and yabbie and pig races. “I think overall [Australia Day] was very well celebrated and supported,” Mr Hooke said. “I’d like to congratulate John Hickey and the rugby club for their involvement. They were pivotal in making it a success.” Mr Hickey said Aussiefest drew heaps of families, with people of all ages participating in the events. “Our second year of the indigenous versus the rest was exceptional and was all played with great attitude and it was terrific to see,” he said. “We’ll do it bigger and better next year … Let’s hope there’s some rain so we’re back in the river next year.” Keep up with your local news by subscribing here.