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Steve Ellis - AKA the Belmore Wizard - sets the tone for the Canterbury street party.
You're maybe 40 kilometres away from Belmore when you catch it in the corner of your eye. The tiny blue-and-white car flag, two of them now, pinned up on either side of the Range Rover now blurring past you at a T-intersection.

There must be a big party on or something. Call it 'Happy Belmore'.

Working weeks start on Mondays, calendar weeks start on Sundays - but Grand Final Week started waaaay before for this jubilant lot, who've been hamming it up ever since Josh Morris locked a last-ditch Jamie Soward bomb into the safe of his chest and threw away the key. 

"It actually started the week before that on Saturday when they versed Manly and won by a point," says Alma Khalaf, whose family has been running a local drycleaners in the area for more than 30 years. 

"People went crazy, came right in front of my store, started beeping and dancing for hours. 

"And then last week when they won the big game against Penrith, it's been every day since. [Tuesday night] the police actually had to close off the street because of all the drums and the music and the dancing."

And Alma's not exaggerating. The local authorities have already warned of $400 fines for excessive car-beeping in the area. 

"But the police can be pretty tolerant at times," says Steve Ellis, who has painted himself as The Belmorian Wizard for the past six years. 

"But then they can just cut it too. After we won on Saturday, we were all down here and the place was going off. They waited until 2am before they said that was it, and slowly dispersed people away."

Not 10 minutes had gone by in one of western Sydney's biggest ethnic melting pots before became overwhelmed by the drivers pushing their palms against the centres of their steering wheels and screaming out "BUUUUULLDOOOOOOGGGGSSS!"

"This is nothing yet," the Wizard says. "Come back at night time. At around 6-7pm, they'll all come and make a racket of themselves, stand on the brickwork down at the local coffee shop where the players normally go and have the whole place going rockers.

"Last night (Thursday) they were doing happy laps between here and the Leagues Club. There's a feller in the next street who buys second-hand cars, paints them blue and white, and then puts them in the crusher the next week. He'll do another one tomorrow."

Not that any of it bothers the Wizard, or anyone else, for that matter. In fact, it's the reason why he'll spend more hours slapping on the make-up than Lady Gaga does pre-concert – everyone in Belmore loves a week-long party. 

"And this is only half the get-up," he says. "Most of those that paint their face, they just plaster the stuff on and it looks like they've just had a meat pie thrown at their face. 

"But I take my time. I do one cake, then I watch telly for half an hour. Then I do another coat of the white, because the white has to cover your face. Then I do the blue over the top. 

"Then I think: what can I do to make it better, because it's just blue and white? So I've done some whiskers."

And not that the street freeze bothers the Khalaf family, either. Business hasn't been too shabby in recent years, especially when the Belmore club asked them, a mere local business, to look after their jerseys. 

And now here she was, with each and every player's grand final jersey with grand final embroidery, going through her hands. 

"We've done them for years now and we do them every week during the football season. We do first grade, NSW Cup, all the lower grades... I used to get bags and bags every week of all the jerseys. I did them all," she says.
"My kids used to be so excited just to see those jerseys in the bags. They'd say which player wore what, and hold up the jersey. It was exciting all those years ago, and it was exciting this week."

That thing about the Bulldogs being a family club? Here's the living proof. 

"It says a lot about the club, but it says a lot about what we're doing as well," she says. "For example, The Dragons' guy asked Freddie [Bulldogs staffer], 'Where do you guys do your jerseys?' 

"Freddie told the guy at St George we'd be good, so we've been doing the Dragons jerseys for two years now as well. He came here through the exact same doors you came through."
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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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