It’s less than eight weeks until Christmas – too soon to put up your tree (no judgement here) but well within the timeframe to start feeling festive. Whether its big events you’re after or a wander around the region in search of a unique, locally-made Christmas gift, the Hunter has it all. Or maybe you want to forget about 25 December for now and just put on a party frock and have a boogie. We’ve got you covered with this week’s top seven.
Get your skates on
Speers Point Park multi-arts pavilion will be home to an 80s Skaties 4th Birthday Party on Friday. From 5.30pm the community is invited to join the popular all-ages skating social group as they celebrate four years of gathering and skating together. The fittingly 80s-themed bash will feature a live DJ, food trucks and costumes, with Xanadu playing on the projection screen. The celebration runs until 9pm with games, prizes to win, and of course, a big birthday cake. The event kicks off MAP mima’s summer season of Friday Night Foodies events.
Get Christmas shopping
The Carrie’s Place Christmas hamper appeal starts this weekend, with community members asked to fill a hamper with specified items and drop it at the group’s Maitland headquarters to help bring a smile to the faces of those fleeing domestic violence and those facing homelessness. Hampers should include the following 12 non-perishable items: a Christmas pudding or Christmas mince pies, UHT custard (1 litre), Orange, apple or tropical juice (1 litre), a large packet of chips, chocolates, and a packet of lollies. A packet of sweet biscuits or shortbread, a box of Christmas bon-bons, a packet of nuts, tinned fruit, a packet of savoury biscuits or crackers, and a packet of instant gravy mix. Wrap your hamper in brightly coloured Christmas wrap and drop it at Carrie’s Place on High Street in Maitland before 9 December.
The Maitland Community Markets is on this Sunday 6 November from 9am to 2pm. The monthly bargain hunting event is expected to fill the Maitland Showground with indoor and outdoor stalls, selling a wide range of goods including fresh food, produce, gift items, pre-loved clothing, and home-made treats, plus there will be hours of food and entertainment.
Get bitter and twisted
The Maitland Gaol will be home to another edition of the popular Bitter and Twisted Boutique Beer Festival this weekend. Sydney alternative indie rock band Middle Kids headlines Saturday’s bumper line-up, followed by award-winning four-piece roots collective The Beautiful Girls on Sunday. After a two-year hiatus, the annual event is set to draw fans of great music and people passionate about quality craft beer, in their droves. In addition, there will be a range of food stalls and other activities across the event site, as well as add-ons that visitors can purchase to make their day even more memorable. These include Beer Trivia, Private Cell Blocks, and Beer and Cheese Matching sessions, just to name a few. Bitter and Twisted is an 18+ only event on Saturday 5 November, with all ages permitted on Sunday 6 November. However, under-18s must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times.
Get loud and proud
Newcastle Pride is partnering with Homegrown Markets to host a LGBTIQA+ all-inclusive Fair Da’, hosted by special guest Miss Danni Issues. The free family-friendly all day event will include Youth Tent, Meet-up Tent, Glamorous Drag shows, non-stop performance art, live music, Doggywood Parade, a children’s space, food vans, retail stalls, LGBTIQA+ community stalls, and The Red Torquettes to name a few. Rainbow flags, shirts, tights, and wigs are strongly encouraged, with comfortable, safe and inclusive the theme for the space. Bring a rug or banana chair, settle in and get ready for a ride of camp entertainment and rainbow coloured fun from 11am to 8pm at Gregson Park in Hamilton. An adults-only after party will be held at The Argyle House from 8pm.
Children’s group The Quokkas are hosting a free event at the Newcastle Museum on Sunday from 10.30am to noon. The all-ages family-friendly mini-concert will include the group’s best hits including Different Families, Everybody’s Welcome, That’s Not A Fish, and Choo Choo Goes The Train. The five member group, featuring Nick Gill, Komiti Levai, Matt McLaren, Pam Hyde and Stef Tuyl, wasformed in 2020 with the hope of being inclusive and sharing positive messages during what was a troublesome time. Join them on Sunday with a picnic rug and snacks for 90 minutes of fun.
Follow a trail of works by local artists this weekend when Lake Mac Open Studios hosts its biannual Open Studios event. From 10am to 4pm, 33 studios will open their doors allowing art lovers a chance to get up-close-and-personal with local artists. Visitors can learn firsthand about the creative process and experience a unique behind-the-scenes look, with artworks available for purchase as well – a locally-produced, original Christmas gift idea! This weekend’s trail includes studios from Mannering Park to Swansea, Cardiff to Dudley. Maps can be found online at Lake Mac Open Studios.
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