After two challenging years, the Lake Mac Festival set the tone for a brighter 2022 with thousands of people flocking to experience a weekend of family fun including a spectacular, first-ever, triple fireworks show.

The festival took place from January 22 to January 23, with a simultaneous fireworks display on opening night drawing crowds to five separate live-sites at Warners Bay, Belmont and Rathmines, as well as parks and other vantage points around the lake.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said perfect weather helped draw crowds in what was the city’s first major event since the most recent COVID lockdowns, which took place from January 22 to January 23.

“It has been wonderful to see so many people back out enjoying the fresh air and free entertainment,” she said.

Five separate sites hosted fireworks displays across Lake Macquarie. Photo source: Lake Macquarie Council

“It has been a long, hard slog for so many people, so to have a weekend like this – outdoors, in wide open spaces and with COVID-safe plans in place – is a welcome reprieve.”

Earlier on Saturday, hundreds of families enjoyed free food and coffee, childrens’ games and live entertainment at a community breakfast at Thomas H Halton Park at Croudace Bay.

On Sunday, “Oz Day Out” included local musicians who played to crowds at Speers Point Park, with gin, wine and beer bars and food trucks available for attendees.

Lake Macquarie City Council Manager Arts, Culture and Tourism Jacqui Hemsley was optimistic that the weekend would signal the beginning of many memorable events across the city during the year. 

“We all know how much has had to be cancelled and postponed over the past two years, but fingers crossed we’ll have more luck in 2022,” she said.

“From superboats to the Living Smart Festival, there’s so much to look forward to. We’re aiming to host a real diversity of events, big and small, to engage the community, activate business and boost tourism to the region.”

Lake Macquarie residents can expect further family fun on January 26, with Croudace Bay host to a free breakfast run by local community groups, as well as other activities. 

The event will feature a free yoga session, the traditional scouts canoe race, family-friendly classic games sponsored by The Mutual and live music from local artists The Little Scallywagz, Kaylah Anne, Pete McCredie, Tyler Chapman and Kristy James.

Maia O’Connor

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