NEWCASTLE will not know what has hit it when thousands of athletes, performers, volunteers and spectators descend on seven venues across the city next month.
The inaugural Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games will land in Newcastle on December 1.
Over seven days, 2500 athletes from 32 countries will participate in nine sports: swimming, football, cricket, basketball, badminton, table tennis, athletics, bocce and tenpin bowling.
Athletes will compete at venues such as The Forum, Newcastle No. 1 Sports Ground and Newcastle Basketball Stadium.
Australia will be represented by a team of more than 400 athletes.
The event is already fully subscribed to volunteers, with 3500 people helping to prepare it.
Last week, the Cardiff-based Waltzing Matildas dance group practised its opening ceremony performance, alongside a star-studded line-up including Marcia Hines, Human Nature and artistic director John Foreman.
Human Nature will headline the two-hour ceremony, to be held on Sunday, December 1, at 7pm.
It will include dancing, fireworks, a torch run and a welcome parade for all athletes and their carers.
Tickets start from $35. Go to soapg2013.com for more information or to buy tickets to the opening ceremony.