Since 1985, the Wallsend Winter Fair has been a highlight on the local community calendar. Brightening up the second Sunday in August each year, the Fair attracts up to 30,000 locals and visitors alike, bringing generations together for a day spent celebrating and supporting the Wallsend community. It’s now in its 34th year and bigger and better than ever, so mark your diaries: on Sunday 11th August, Wallsend Town will be the place to be.
Its beginnings might have been humble, but over the years, both the Fair and its attendance have grown exponentially. The 30,000 mark for attendance was first cracked back in 2015, and the Fair is now one of, if not the largest annual community event in the Newcastle area. But no matter how big the crowds get, the focus is always the same: creating a fun, family-friendly event that brings together local talent, businesses, community and sporting groups, charities, schools and entertainers. It’s a chance to showcase all Wallsend has to offer – and year after year, Wallsend’s community really does rise to the occasion.
So what can fairgoers expect on the day?
Festivities kick off at 9am with the Grand Parade down Wallsend’s main street – more on this below. (Our tip: get there early to secure your spot on the sidelines – the streets fill up quickly!) After the Parade, visitors can wander around 150 specialty stalls and local businesses offering unique arts, crafts, gifts, clothing, jewellery and more. There’s entertainment across two stages, plenty of tasty cuisines on offer throughout the food precincts and local eateries – and of course, what would a fair be without rides? Two precincts full of the latest amusement rides are on offer for the young and young at heart.
The Wallsend Winter Fair wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of the Wallsend Town Business Association, which organises the Fair every year. Nor would it be possible without its sponsors. Local businesses and groups come forward every year to make the Fair happen, and 2019 is no different. There are several local supporters on board, with Newcastle City Council as the event’s major sponsor. “Newcastle City Council is a proud supporter of great community events like the Wallsend Winter Fair,” says Ben Johnson, Media Officer at NCC. “Council officers will be on hand at the Fair to talk to you about what's happening across the city. Come on along to our stall to have your say!”
Having supported the Winter Fair for the past four years, the Greater Bank is back on board with its fifth sponsorship in 2019. On the day, the bank’s Wallsend branch staff and Head Office volunteers will be found at the information stand, assisting patrons with programs and directions. There’ll also be a $1,000 cash giveaway, where Fair attendees can explore local businesses and find the hidden Greater Bank cheques for their chance to win.
So why has the Greater Bank chosen to sponsor the Fair year after year? “We are committed to supporting the communities that support us. This is a key philosophy of our business and the reason why we have again thrown our support behind this event,” says Matthew Hingston, Head of Marketing and Customer Experience at the Greater Bank. “Wallsend has been an important community hub for us for many years, and like Greater Bank, the Wallsend community has continued to grow and flourish. The Wallsend Winter Fair is reflective of the prosperous community it prides itself on being today.”
McDonald’s Wallsend is also a proud supporter, bringing a variety of local talent to the McDonald’s Community Stage for the entertainment of fairgoers. From 9.30am to 3pm you’ll see some great young talent, including up-and-coming singers and dancers, judo demonstrations, a magician and more. Kids will also want to keep an eye out for a special visit from Ronald McDonald himself near the McDonald’s Stage after the Grand Parade.
Like the Fair itself, Wallsend Village Shopping Centre is a central aspect of the local community. The Wallsend Village Grand Parade serves as the official start to the Winter Fair and is currently the one and only street parade in the Newcastle LGA. Attracting dozens of local community groups, businesses and schools, all led by marching, pipe and brass bands, the Grand Parade begins at 9am at Boscawen Street, continuing down Nelson Street to Cowper Street. It’s always a popular event, and entrants have the opportunity to win one of three great prizes from Wallsend Village. Keep an eye out for the Wallsend Village marquee at the Fair as well.
Optus joins the Fair for the second time this year, bringing along their portable ‘store on wheels’ to the Optus Interactive Zone. The Optus truck features a 4 x 2-metre screen that pops up to display interactive media content on all things Optus, and staff will be on hand to talk about the latest devices, network updates and mobile options. Visit the Optus team on the corner of Tyrrell and Nelson Streets for some great offers and info.
Local pub the Lemon Grove Hotel also joins the Winter Fair as a supporter this year, sponsoring the ‘Groovin’ the Grove’ Main Stage – and providing a great spot for fairgoers to stop for a drink and hearty pub lunch.
Find the program of events HERE.
Head down to the 34th annual Wallsend Winter Fair on Sunday, 11th August from 9am to 3pm. Find out more and apply as a Grand Parade participant, stallholder or Community Stage performer at www.winterfair.com.au