Lake Macquarie Classic Boatfest set to drop anchor at Toronto foreshore during Easter long weekend

ONE of the most significant boating events in Lake Macquarie will drop anchor at Toronto foreshore this weekend, promising to be biggest and best yet.

The Lake Macquarie Classic Boatfest attracted 15,000 people last year to its exhibition of classic sailboats, steamboats and cruisers.

The popular family-oriented event has been held at Toronto foreshore for the past 12 years. It was known as Heritage Afloat until 2010, when it was renamed the Lake Macquarie Classic Boatfest.

Lake Macquarie Classic Boatfest Association president Jim Knowles described it as a "premier event" for the region.

Mr Knowles, who has been president of the association for four years, said not once had it considered moving the event from Toronto.

"Well look at it, it's spectacular," he said.

"Why not Toronto? I've travelled all around the world - places like Africa, Zimbabwe and Chile - this is as good as it gets."

With easy access for large yachts through the Swansea Channel and restaurants, cafes and shops nearby, Mr Knowles said Toronto was perfect.

This year the event will have a new attraction - Victorian-made replica pirate ship the Notorious.

The ship will make a stop in Lake Macquarie for the first time, offering the chance for young and old to hop aboard for a tour.

Family favourites returning this year include the Quick 'N' Dirty boat-building competition, a children's Easter egg hunt and live music and entertainment.

■ Lake Macquarie Classic Boatfest is this Saturday, April 19, from 9am to 5pm and Sunday, April 20, from 9am to 4pm at Toronto foreshore. Entry is free.

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