AFL Grand Final Day ( Thank You Day!)

2021 AFL Grand Final

Date: Saturday, September 25
Start time: 2.30pm (AEST)
Venue: MCG
TV broadcaster: Channel 7

Is AFL Grand Final Friday a Holiday in 2021 (Victoria)?

It is the newest public holiday in the state of Victoria. It is celebrated on the Friday preceding the Australian Football League Grand Final.


Victorians to get a public holiday on Friday TBC

It has been called a “Thank You Day”.

The AFL Grand Final

The AFL Grand Final takes place at the end of each Australian Football League season. The event is normally held on the last Saturday in September each year and occasionally on the first Saturday in October. The game and associated entertainment is held in Melbourne, Australia at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The main objective of the AFL Grand Final is to determine the champion club for that year in the Australian Football League.

Today, the AFL Grand Final plays a vital role in Australia’s sporting culture. The event remains as the most significant on the Australian sports calendar. It has the leading overall interest and television audience in the country and also pulls one of the largest attendance figures for a sporting event each year. The winner of the AFL Grand Final receives a large premiership trophy and a premiership flag which is normally unveiled at the Club’s first home game in he following season.

History of the AFL

The AFL Grand FinalIn 1896, eight foundations football clubs namely South Melbourne, St Kilda, Melbourne, Geelong, Fitzroy, Essendon, Collingwood and Carlton established the Victorian Football League. However, they started playing their first league games the following year. Two other clubs namely University and Richmond joined the league in 1908. For University, this was short lived because it left the competition in 1914. Nonetheless, the league attracted North Melbourne, Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs in 1925.

It was only after the 1987 season that two other teams namely Brisbane Bears and West Coast Eagles would join the league. Other clubs that joined the league included Adelaide, Fremantle and Port Adelaide in 1991, 1995 and 1997 respectively. Brisbane Bears and Fitzroy merged in 1996 and gave birth to the Brisbane Lions.

The Victorian Football League was renamed the Australian Football League after the 1990 season to become a truly national league.

Past AFL Grand Final Winners

AFL Season Premiers Runner Ups
2020* Richmond Geelong
2019 Richmond Greater Western Sydney
2018 West Coast Collingwood
2017 Richmond Adelaide
2016 Western Bulldogs Sydney
2015 Hawthorn West Coast Eagles
2014 Hawthorn Sydney
2013 Hawthorn Fremantle
2012 Sydney Swans Hawthorn
2011 Geelong Collingwood
2010 Collingwood St Kilda
2009 Geelong St Kilda
2008 Hawthorn Geelong
2007 Geelong Port Adelaide
2006 West Coast Sydney
2005 Sydney West Coast
2004 Port Adelaide Brisbane
2003 Brisbane Collingwood
2002 Brisbane Collingwood
2001 Brisbane Essendon
2000 Essendon Melbourne

Grand Final Day

A Grand Final parade is held in the week preceding the Grand Final to help celebrate the event and the players and coaches. This traditional parade brings the two competing teams together and is held on the Friday ahead of each AFL Grand Final. The parade is held at the city centre of Melbourne attracting thousands of fans.

There is always pre-match entertainment before the game that involves local and international entertainers. The Club song of each team participating in the grand final is played during this pre-match entertainment event as the teams run onto the ground.

There is also a sprint organized during the match day. This involves a number of selected players who are not participating in the finals and can run very fast.

Grand Final parties and bbq’s are held throughout homes and pubs in all states of Australia. Fans of AFL also hold private parties all over the world on Grand Final day. People gather around and enjoy watching their team on big tvs and screens. For many supporters the AFL Grand Final brings out strong emotions as they cheer their team on.

About the game of Australian Football

A game of footy consists of four quarters and continues for nearly two hours. Two opposing teams ( 22 players with 18 from each team on the field at any one time ) try and kick as many goals as possible.

A goal is scored when the football is kicked through the tall, inner posts (the goalposts) and is worth six points.

If the football goes between a goalpost and either of the shorter outer posts (the behind posts), a behind is scored and one point is added to that team’s tally.

The winning team is the one with the biggest points score.

Grand Final Parties and BBQ’s

Depending on where you are living in Australia will determine how you celebrate the AFL Grand Final. Whether you are in lock-down with your immediate family or can be around a few of your friends you an still have a great time!

For something a bit different try serving all your favorite party food for your guests arranged on platters and keep it coming throughout the game. Decorate your party area with your teams colors – balloons, streamers and banners.

Food Ideas for Grand Final Day Parties

Serve the following heated up with bowls of tomato sauce:

  • Party Pies and Sausage Rolls
    If you are taking it to the party then heat them up in the oven, line an ice cream container with a few layers of paper towel and place the piping hot sausage and party pies inside in layers. Put the pie filled container in an insulated bag and they will remain hot for a few hours.
  • Cocktail Frankfurts (or Hot Dogs cut up)
    For taking to a party – Heat and transport in a thermos with boiling water. Carefully drain the hot water from the thermos when you are ready to serve and you will have nice hot hot dogs!.
  • Chicken Nuggets, Quiche’s, Mini Dim Sims
    and at half time treat everyone to some Scones and Jam and Cream!
  • Prawns on the Barbie
    Prawns are delicious cooked on the barbecue – either whole in their shells or shelled and threaded onto skewers. Lemon juice and olive oil drizzled over them, then served with mayonnaise is yummy.

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