More than 60,000 people across the Central Coast attended 2017 Lakes Festival events across 10 days in November.
The festival, which ran from November 10 to 19, was expected to contribute more than $6.7 million to the local economy, according to the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR).
Central Coast Council’s Director, Connected Communities, Ms Julie Vaughan, said: “Attendance was up across all events, with more people going to more than one event, highlighting that it has become a true festival with something for everyone.”
“Opening up extra events from Budgewoi to Ettalong was a great success, bringing newer experiences and opportunities to explore our waterways than previously,” she said.
Some of the highlights from the Festival included the Council’s award-winning environmental education tours, which were booked out in advance, and Light up the Lake at Memorial Park, The Entrance.
The Entrance attracted huge crowds, with The Potbelleez headlining the night, and thousands turned up to the popular Long Jetty Street Festival.
Local business reported surges in popularity, including Central Coast Holiday Parks, which saw an increase in accommodation bookings during the Festival, from both visitors outside the region as well as locals.
Cycle the Lake had more than 1,000 people download the mapping system to cycle the shared pathways that passed through most of the events hubs.
“Not only did the Festival boost our local economy, it had the added bonus of educating everyone about our unique waterways,” Ms Vaughan said.
Mayor Jane Smith said the Lakes Festival was a great way to highlight some of the Central Coast’s greatest assets and have some fun at the same time.
“It makes you realise how lucky we are to have such a beautiful natural environment that we can enjoy and showcase, both to residents and visitors to the region,” Mayor Smith said.
“We’re keen to have everyone return next year and will also be looking for new events to join in,” she said.
“I can’t wait to see what ideas we get when expressions of interest open early next year,” she said.
The 2018 Lakes Festival will be held from November 8 to 19.
Media release, Nov 30
Central Coast Council media