A king-sized koala, 9m-tall tyrannosaurus rex and giant pineapple will be among the colourful creations set to light up Lake Macquarie this weekend as part of the annual Float Your Boat spectacular.
More than 20 illuminated vessels will join the two-night event, which will see the flotilla cruise the western edge of the lake on Friday evening, and skirt the lake’s eastern edge on Saturday night.
Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said last year’s event drew more than 17,000 people to the foreshore.
“With fine weather forecast for both nights, we’re expecting even bigger crowds this year,” Cr Fraser said.
“This is a unique event that showcases our beautiful lake, activates our City’s evening economy and provides fantastic photo opportunities and entertainment for the whole family.”
A live-site on the Toronto foreshore on Friday night will include live music, food vendors, performances by Circus Avalon and an illuminated costume workshop for kids.
On Saturday night, a live-site will operate at Warners Bay foreshore, featuring food vans, specialty stalls, live music, LED hula-hoop performances, fire-twirling and a second children’s illuminated costume workshop.
“Up to 50 kids each night will get to make their own illuminated firefly outfit to keep, and they’ll be able to join our firefly performers in a parade around the foreshore,” Cr Fraser said.
Lake Macquarie City Council Cultural Engagement, Marketing and Tourism Coordinator Bianca Gilmore said events like Float Your Boat helped raise Lake Mac’s profile.
“Iconic annual events like Float Your Boat are at the core of our new events strategy,” Ms Gilmore said.
“We’re committed to raising the profile of Lake Macquarie, increasing tourism and providing diverse events accessible to the whole community.”
The Float Your Boat flotilla will depart Marmong Point Marina at 6pm each evening.
On Friday, it is expected to pass Bolton Point about 6.30pm, Toronto at 7pm, Coal Point at 7.30pm, Rathmines at 8pm and finish at Wangi Wangi at 9pm.
Saturday’s parade is scheduled to cruise along the Warners Bay foreshore from 6.30-7pm and Valentine from 7-7.30pm, finishing at Belmont 16s about 8.30pm.
Participants go in the running to win cash prizes across three categories: People’s Choice, Mayor’s Choice (Vessels over 10m) and Mayor’s Choice (Vessels under 10m).
Marmong Point Marina Managing Director Les Binkin said some boaties spent days painstakingly decorating their boats to impress the crowds.
“Kids love it, but I think everyone has a bit of a thing for lights like this,” Mr Binkin said.
“And for the boaties, there is a sense of achievement – they want to be part of it and part of the community.”
Friday’s Toronto live-site and Saturday’s Warners Bay live-site will both operate 5.30-8.30pm.
Voting for the People’s Choice award opens on Monday on Council’s Facebook page.
Float Your Boat is proudly sponsored by Marmong Point Marina, Belmont 16s and The Brighton Apartments.
Go to lakemac.com.au/float-your-boat for more information.