Boaties prepare to light up the lake for Float Your Boat – Lake Macquarie City Council

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Published on 31 May 2022

Jonathon Vandervoort preparing for Float Your Boat 2022.jpg

Boaties from across NSW will soon begin transforming their vessels into colourful characters for Lake Macquarie’s 2022 Float Your Boat event.

The festival, now in its fifth year, is held over two nights and will see a flotilla of glowing boats travel around the western side of the lake on Friday 24 June, before winding their way around the eastern edge the following evening.

Lake Macquarie City Council Manager Arts, Culture and Tourism Jacqui Hemsley said about 20,000 people were expected to line the lake’s shores during the event.

“At night, the lake is one giant stage where glowing, floating lizards, mermaids, dolphins, sea urchins and even the Sydney Opera House have captured and impressed thousands of people,” Ms Hemsley said.

“This theatrical boating event is truly unique to Australia and is a major drawcard for residents and those travelling throughout the Hunter region.

“Each year, the boats get bigger and the illuminated sculptures more magnificent”.

The boats begin at Marmong Point Marina each night and will travel to Wangi Wangi on the Friday and Belmont 16s on the Saturday.

This year’s weekend will include a range of shore-based activities, with a Friday night live-site at Toronto Royal Motor Yacht Club and surrounding areas.

Warners Bay will host another live-site on Saturday.

Both the Toronto and Warners Bay live-sites will run 6-9.30pm and feature local musicians and performers, entertainment, food trucks and children’s activities.

Lake Macquarie boatman Jonathon Vandervoort has been sailing for more than four decades and is looking forward to taking part in the voyage for a fourth time.

“This year, I am using a sedan cruiser so I need to think a bit differently and create something that will sit on the roof of a boat – but I am toying with a couple of ideas,” Mr Vandervoort said.

“My favourite part is actually participating in the event and seeing the crowds gather on the shoreline.

“Although, I equally enjoy constructing a new idea and working out how to best fit it on the boat in a safe and practical way where people can see it.”

Boats participating in Float Your Boat will be in the running to win a $2000 Newcastle Permanent People’s Choice Award, a Mayor’s Best Boat Award for vessels 5-10m, and a Mayor’s Best Boat Award for vessels over 10m.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said she was looking forward to judging the competition.

“I am very excited to join the community and watch these spectacular scenes,” Cr Fraser said.

Fans can go in the running to win a $100 gift card by casting a vote for their favourite boat following the weekend’s action.

Float Your Boat is proudly sponsored by Newcastle Permanent Building Society, Belmont 16s and Marmong Point Marina.

Go to lakemac.com.au for more information or to register.

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