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OUT AND ABOUT: 5 things to do this weekend

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Bored or looking for something to do this weekend?

Well, here’s a few tips courtesy of the Newcastle Weekly.

WHAT: 2021 Float Your Boat Festival

WHERE: Marmong Point to Wangi Wangi

WHEN: Friday 18 June

TIME: From 5pm

The humble goanna will get its moment in the spotlight tonight as the 2021 Float Your Boat Festival sets sail. A flotilla of vessels is scheduled to motor around the lake from Marmong Point to Wangi Wangi. Tonight’s festivities include a live-site at Toronto foreshore from 5pm until 9.30pm and feature music, magic shows, illuminated art installations, children’s activities and food trucks. There will also be a community bonfire and entertainment at Wangi Wangi. Boats participating in Float Your Boat will be in the running to win a $2,000 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. 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. Go to www.lakemac.com.au/floatyourboat for more information.

WHAT: I am…(Newcastle)

WHERE: Newcastle Studio Potters Inc Back to Back Galleries

WHEN: From Friday 18 June

TIME: 6pm

An exhibition, which draws on Newcastle’s unique character both past and present in a series of ceramic and glass photographs, will open to the public this weekend. Newcastle Studio Potters Inc, located at 57 Bull Street, Cooks Hill, is presenting I am…(Newcastle) at its Back to Back Galleries, featuring the works of Sydney duo Mike Moore and Jeff Lees, from Friday 18 June to Sunday 4 July. From the cedar cutters who were the backbone of the earliest settlement on the Hunter to the RAAF Base, the V8 Racing, the Newcastle Knights and our beaches, the images depict what everyone loves about the City. The official opening and artist talk will take place on 18 June between 6pm and 8pm, while weekend viewings are available by appointment on 0478 296 367 or 0425 250 313. Visit the gallery on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am until 5pm.

WHAT: Newcastle Celebrating Unity in Diversity Festival

WHERE: Foreshore Park

WHEN: Saturday 19 June

TIME: 11am

Compassion and belonging are set to be the hero ingredients at this year’s Newcastle Celebrating Unity in Diversity Festival. The food, language, music and dance celebration will take place on Saturday 19 June at the city’s Foreshore Park. Now in its sixth year, the family-friendly event marks the start of Refugee Week 2021. The community is also encouraged to meet at the Newcastle Foreshore for the Welcome Walk at 11am. An Awabakal Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony will follow the walk, kickstarting festivities that will include international food stalls, Tibetan throat singing workshops, drumming workshops, cultural theatrical performances, as well as Latin and Congolese dance workshops. For more details visit the Newcastle Unity in Diversity World Food and Music Festival Facebook page.

WHAT: Hunter Valley Wine & Beer Festival

WHERE: Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

WHEN: Saturday 19 June

TIME: 11am

At least 10 distilleries will join 50 wineries at the newly-revamped Hunter Valley Wine & Beer Festival on Saturday 19 June to deliver a vintage extravaganza featuring the best wines, craft beer, cider, foods and entertainment from throughout the region. And, it will be staged in two ticketed sessions from 11am to 2pm and between 3pm and 6pm to ensure a comfortable, safe and uncrowded environment. The Hunter Valley Wine & Beer Festival is a family-friendly event, with children receiving complimentary entry, where they’ll enjoy a variety of activities including a jumping castle, train rides, carousel, petting zoo and face painting. Once again, the festival will support the local NSW Rural Fire Service, with fundraising activities on the day. Advance purchase tickets will be available for $15pp ($25pp on the day) through Moshtix (booking fees apply). Tastings are available for $2 each (30ml wine, 75ml beer/cider). Bookings and further information can be found at www.huntervalleywinefestival.com

WHAT: Beanie for Brain Cancer NRL Round

WHERE: McDonald Jones Stadium

WHEN: Saturday 19 June

TIME: 3pm

The Mark Hughes Foundation’s hugely-successful Beanie for Brain Cancer campaign will be front and centre of the National Rugby League (NRL) this weekend, as it hosts the popular round. Hughes’ beloved Newcastle Knights are tackling the New Zealand Warriors at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday 19 June from 3pm. You can also purchase the beanies, $25 each (toddlers $20), at Lowes, participating IGA stores or online at www.markhughesfoundation.com.au Money raised will fund a Brain Cancer Biobank; studies; travel grants; numerous brain cancer care coordinators right across Newcastle and regional NSW; and equipment; as well as a scientific committee that hands out [money for] research projects around Australia including three fellowships.

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