Come one, come all to the Lake Mac Autumn Fair.
The event – at Speers Point Park on Saturday 1 May – is an exciting new twist on an old tradition.
It will draw on the customs of the May Day Fair, which has been hosted in the UK for hundreds of years.
And, now, imported into Australia by UK migrants and still popular throughout the country, fairs remain a popular treat at school fetes and community events.
So, the Speers Point Park festivities next month will combine the fair tradition with a full program of entertainment, a range of food and beverage stalls, to make it interesting for the entire family, while supporting the Clown Doctors at the same time.
Coordinated by the Rotary clubs of Warners Bay, Cardiff and Toronto Sunrise, it represents a modern direction for the organisation, with several parties working together to host an event bigger than any of them could manage on their own.
“I’ve been really impressed by the way the whole community and local groups have got behind the concept of the fair,” organiser and Rotary Club of Warners Bay president Barry Knowles said.
“They’ve really dived in and participated.
“Services, local charities, schools, Girl Guides, council – everyone.
“I think it is going to be a great success.
“Let’s just hope the weather gets in the spirit, too.”
Knowles said there would be a range of “traditional” fair-style games.
“For example, we’ll have a coconut shy, quoits, duck fishing and cans knock-off, combined with less traditional ones like a dunny roll toss,” he told the Newcastle Weekly.
“The police will conduct a fitness test, the NSW RFS will run an obstacle course and give people the chance to experience smokey conditions in a fire.
“For the smaller children, there’ll be face painting, a scavenger hunt and train rides around the park.
“One of the most popular activities is expected to be the petting zoo, where kids can get close to an alpaca, calf, goats, sheep, pony, chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs.
“Marine Rescue will provide boat rides on the lake and Joy Air will offer a trip in a sea-plane allowing passengers to see a new perspective of our beautiful Lake Macquarie.
“To add to all this, we’ll have a big bouncy castle, giant slide, mini golf, a swing ride and bumper balls.”
Mr Knowles said there would be a selection of interest stalls, handicrafts and plants to buy, too.
“We’ve got something for everyone,” he added.
“Rotary will be displaying some of the things they do.
“The NSW SES will showcase a truck or two, Lake Macquarie City Council will bring their library van and the local vintage car clubs will present about 50 vehicles.
“There’ll also be a variety of food and drink stalls, including a Rotary barbeque with a vegie option to make sure all tastes are catered for.
“To top it off, Radio 2NUR is broadcasting ‘live’ from the fair from 9am until noon and, on the entertainment side, among others, there will be the Morris dancers, a Town Crier, a marching band, a barbershop quartet, a ukelele orchestra and a range of performances from local schools and talent.
“You don’t want to miss it, so put 1 May in your dairy now.”