SYDNEY (AFP) – Thousands sat down to breakfast on the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Sunday after the iconic structure was closed to traffic and carpeted with grass for the first time for a giant picnic.
About 6,000 early risers were on the steel bridge from 6:30 am to take part in the two-hour event designed to showcase Sydney's best food and outdoor lifestyle.
|Thousands of Sydney residents picnic on 10,000 square metres of grass at the inaugural 'Breakfast On The Bridge' event spanning the Sydney Harbour Bridge (AFP photo)|
As accordion players and trumpeters provided the background music, those who had won tickets to the picnic in a random lottery munched on fruit, pastries, muesli, yoghurt, and the staple Australian breakfast spread Vegemite.
"It's amazing to see the bridge in this perspective," said Sydneysider Don Fuchs of the structure which is used by about 100,000 cars daily.
"Usually you sit in the car, you cross it, and that's it."
"It was beautiful," said Linda Curnow who attended the picnic with her family. "The grass was so thick it was like being in your back yard."
New South Wales state Premier Nathan Rees said the event was set to become an annual feature of Sydney's month-long October food festival.
About 45,000 people applied for tickets to the breakfast for which people brought their own food but were able to taste samples from some of the state's best producers.
"I don't think we were ever doubtful of the success of this event today," a government spokesman told AFP. "It was a unique world first for this iconic attraction. This type of event typifies the Australian personality."
Organisers are planning to use about 40 percent of the grass on Sydney parks.
The bridge was due to reopen at about 1:00 pm.