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Illuminate returns to Raymond Terrace bigger and brighter than ever

An exciting evening of community connection and culture will take place on the first day of winter, Saturday 1 June, with the return of Illuminate Raymond Terrace.


Uniting the community under a blanket of fire and light, Illuminate will be held at Riverside Park, and spill onto the vibrant streets of Hunter and King Street, offering a mix of activities and workshops, a festive community parade, delicious food and entertainment options and a spectacular fireworks display over the Hunter River.

Illuminate Raymond Terrace is funded through the Multicultural NSW Stronger Local Council Major Festival Grants Program, providing $50,000, and seeks to highlight the diversity of the Raymond Terrace community in an evening focused on inclusion, culture, and belonging.

Mayor Ryan Palmer said Council is anticipating significant community interest after last year’s event was cancelled at the 11th hour due to a super storm.

“After last year’s unfortunate cancellation, we’ve been working hard to bring Illuminate back to the Raymond Terrace community this year – it’s the biggest event Council has ever organised, so you won’t want to miss it,” Mayor Palmer said.

“Thanks to additional funding from the NSW Government, we've expanded Illuminate 2024, activating Hunter and King Streets as well. This means a bigger event footprint with exciting new additions like market stalls and a dedicated zone for special visits from the Port Stephens Mobile Library and the Rural Fire Service fire truck.

“Get ready for a pedestrian-friendly experience as we transform these streets into vibrant hubs for our local business to actively participate in the action,” he continued.

Illuminate will ignite as a vibrant community celebration, opening with a Citizenship Ceremony to welcome Port Stephens’ newest Australian citizens and fostering a sense of belonging throughout the evening.

“We’re incredibly grateful to the NSW Government for their funding that brings Illuminate to life, allowing us to give our newest citizens a truly unforgettable welcome.

"Just imagine it – a night filled with dazzling fire and light, delicious food, and friendly faces – the perfect way for our newest Australians to connect with their new community in a fun and lasting way.

“We’re also proud that many of the event elements are a collaboration with Port Stephens locals, such as live entertainment by Annual Award Winner Jacob Ridgeway, and Battle of the Arts 2024 participants from High Schools across Port Stephens.

"Many other local service providers, businesses and creatives have also been involved in helping develop the event and will be in attendance on the evening – Port Stephens locals should feel very proud of their strong sense of community,” Mayor Palmer added.

NSW Minister for Multiculturalism, the Honourable Steve Kamper MP said he was delighted to see the return of Illuminate in 2024.

“Illuminate will be Port Stephens’ biggest cultural event to date, as Council and local residents prepare to transform Raymond Terrace into a vibrant celebration of community, belonging and diversity,” said the Honourable Mr Kamper.

“The creation of vibrant spaces to present Illuminate Raymond Terrace speaks volumes for the immense passion local residents hold for their natural environment as a place to express themselves artistically.

“On behalf of NSW Government, I take this opportunity to congratulate Port Stephen’s newest citizens joining the celebration in Raymond Terrace next weekend,” he added.

Illuminate Raymond Terrace will take place from 3 to 9pm on Saturday 1 June, and is a free event made possible thanks to funding from the NSW Government. We also thank our local sponsors: MarketPlace Raymond Terrace, Raymond Terrace Therapy, The Mutual Bank, and Mortgage Choice.

Read more about the event at


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