Eventful summer still to come

26 Nov 2017

The biggest event in the city's history may have come to a screeching halt -- but the inaugural Newcastle 500 was just the beginning of a super summer line up.

A musical celebration in Civic Park this Friday evening ushers in the festive season ahead of the annual Bikers for Kids Christmas toy run on Sunday.

Carols by Candlelight, a radical skate bowl competition and a revamped New Year's Eve - all planned or sponsored by Council - will round out a bumper year of events that also saw the Wallabies, Matildas and National Women's Masters hockey champs come to town.

"I'm proud to say that Council is following up the biggest and most successful event in the city's history with a full line-up of festivities that we either help host or sponsor through our annual grants and sponsorship program," Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

"Council staff did a fantastic job promoting the best possible image of the city to the world on the weekend, and now we're focused on delivering a string of great events in the lead up to Christmas and the New Year.

"The 40th annual toy ride this Sunday is a phenomenal achievement that speaks volumes about the city's heart and I'm also looking forward to the New Year's Eve format at Queens Wharf after light rail construction prompted the move from Honeysuckle."

A live orchestra, big-band music and Christmas carols by a 100-strong choir make Serenade Under the Stars a family evening not to be missed in Civic Park this Friday.

Kids will receive special starry wands and enjoy some vibrant entertainment such as jumping castles, face painting, crafts and performers roving among the crowd and food vendors.

On Sunday, around 10,000 motorcyclists will snake their way from Stockton to Wickham for the 40th annual Bikers for Kids Toy Run, which aims to raise $40,000 and collect 20,000 gifts this year.

Supported by council through its events sponsorship program, the annual event helps The Salvation Army brighten Christmases for needy families right across the region.

Riders will depart Stockton's Ballast Grounds at 10am for Wickham Park, where music, stalls and entertainment will help mark four decades of heart-warming generosity by bikers from the Hunter and farther afield.

King Edward Park's traditional Carols by Candlelight will return on Friday 15 December.

Food stalls, markets and free kiddies rides will spread cheer among a crowd of 15,000 at the annual vigil hosted by Council, Newcastle Permanent and The Newcastle Herald.

The day after, on Saturday 16 December, a spectacular skate contest run by world champion pro vert skater Renton Miller will light up Bar Beach Skate Park. King of Concrete will see locals match it with the country's best skaters in awesome displays of aerial athleticism at the widely acclaimed council-built bowl.

To finish the year, New Year's Eve celebrations will feature a major concert headlined by Aussie band Mental As Anything in the Queens Wharf precinct. Families are also invited to a 9pm fireworks display (launched from the Stockton Foreshore) and a range of fun activities on Market St Lawn hosted by Revitalising Newcastle.

  • 1 December 2017: Serenade Under the Stars and Christmas Lights, Civic Park, 5.30pm to 9.30pm
  • 3 December 2017: Bikers for Kids Toy Run, leaving Stockton 10.00am, then till 3pm in Wickham Park
  • 15 December 2017: Carols by Candlelight in King Edward Park
  • 16 December 2017: King of Concrete, Empire Park
  • 31 December 2017: New Year's Eve, Newcastle Foreshore