Last year we witnessed the incredible success of the biggest sporting event in our city's history, the Supercars Australia – Newcastle 500, which generated more than $30 million in economic benefits for the city.
Now the anticipation is building as we head into a race weekend with even more to see and do this year.
We're stretching the high-octane atmosphere well beyond the race precinct, adding seven activities across six locations over the race weekend.
Entertain Newcastle is for all residents and visitors to the city, not just race-goers, and will appeal to foodies, families and people of all ages.
A Supercars drivers' signing session with a cruise down Beaumont Street, an early Christmas on Darby Street and Disney the Pixar Cars Truck Tour, are just a few of the events planned for Hamilton, Cooks Hill, Civic Park and Hunter Street Mall.
The festival starts Thursday 22 November with all 26 Supercars drivers visiting Hamilton and runs to Sunday 25 November with a three-day family fun zone featuring Disney the Pixar Cars Truck Tour including Mack the Transporter in Civic Park from Friday.
The weekend is packed full of entertainment for the whole family, with legendary Scottish rock band Simple Minds headlining the Saturday night concert celebration, supported by Aussie favourites, Birds of Tokyo.
I invite everyone to come into the city to be part of these great events and enjoy the atmosphere as we proudly host tens of thousands of visitors to our region.
We want everyone to share in the fun of the event and for businesses across the city to benefit from the Newcastle 500, which brought an unprecedented $30 million windfall into the Newcastle's local economy last year.
Craig Lowndes in action 2018
In 2017 the Supercars Finale served as a spectacular advertisement for the city and this year's will showcase a newly revitalised city centre.
Hosting the Newcastle 500 maiden race clearly demonstrated and strengthened the city's capacity to host major events, showcased our beautiful city to the world, and celebrated Novocastrian pride.
In addition to the many local businesses and workers who helped make the Newcastle 500 such a success, I want to thank the hundreds of volunteers who spent time helping visitors, promoting the city and offering a taste of Novocastrian hospitality. We could not have done it without you.
We are so proud to bring the race back to Newcastle this year with even more fun and exciting activities. I look forward to joining everyone at Entertain Newcastle.
Have a great weekend in Newcastle.
Lord Mayor of Newcastle