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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Hunter Valley Steamfest to celebrate 35th anniversary

It’s full steam ahead for one of the region’s most popular events next year.

After being struck down by COVID-19, like many other activities, the 35th anniversary of the Burton Automotive Hunter Valley Steamfest will go ahead on Saturday 11 September and Sunday 12 September in 2021.

The annual Steamfest celebrates Maitland’s rich steam and industrial heritage.

It offers historic steam train journeys, the Great Train Race, the gathering of an impressive assembly of antique machinery, the popular Show ‘n’ Shine car display, kids’ activities, music and much more.

The event usually takes place in April each year.

However, with the existing COVID-19 restrictions on large outdoor gatherings and uncertainty about when they will be lifted, it is not possible to successfully prepare for Steamfest, which involves many months of planning with multiple stakeholders.

“Steamfest is the largest event on the city’s calendar and traditionally attracts more than 50,000 people to central Maitland,” executive manager Vibrant City Rachel MacLucas said.

“In 2021, Steamfest will celebrate its 35th anniversary.

“So, postponing the event to later in the year will give us the best opportunity to truly embrace this significant milestone.”

Steamfest was established in 1986 following the closure of the last coal-operated steam-hauled freight service in Australia on the South Maitland Railway Line in 1983.

The event pays homage to the end of an industrial era and the men and women involved in its operation.

For additional information, visit www.steamfest.com.au