125 years of hanging out at Hanging Rock

This Sunday, Australia day marks 125 years of Racing at the Rock.

The event runs on New Years Day and Australia Day annually.

Hanging Rock Harness Racing general manager Jon Dight is expecting a similar number to last years 5000.

"There are seven races, the NMIT Hanging Rock cup, and we've also got the UltreFood stayers race," he said. 

"There'll be kids activities and Kelly Sports too."

The New Years Day event last year was disappointing for the club as numbers significantly decreased due to V/Line train replacements.

"V/Line didn't run trains on New Years Day but they are running for this day so we are expecting a bigger crowd," he said. 

The Harness racing club will run a courtesy shuttle from the Woodend station for a $5 return fair.

Gates open at 11am when last year they opened at 10am.

Macedon Ranges mayor Roger Duke said it will be a memorable event.

"For a lot of people its been a regular part of Australia Day," he said. 

"It's been a challenge to keep the track up to the standard that it is. 

"These events will bring an economic benefit with an influx of tourists."

An Australia Day picnic will be getting underway less than 10 kilometres away as part of the Midsumma festival celebrating queer culture. 

The annual picnic will be set in the gardens at Forest Glade, Mount Macedon.

The Melbourne Rainbow Band and the Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Chorus will add music to the atmosphere. 

The organisation wants to encourage people to pack their own picnic baskets and bring along a picnic rug to enjoy the outdoors. 

Located on Mount Macedon Road, gates will be open from 10am to 4pm on Sunday.

Entry is $10 for adults and kids are free.

The picnic is one of many events included in the Midsumma festival from January 12 to February 2.

The picnic begins at 10am and will run until 4pm. 

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