The Central Coast NSW has something for everyone, and we’ve just welcomed another year ahead full of home-grown entertainment, fairs and markets. Clear your upcoming weekend plans and submit your N/A papers at work because there is a ton of stuff happening in every corner of the coast!

Whether you’re into fun-runs, shopping or local talent, 2017 offers up plenty of new experiences and attractions for both locals and visitors alike. Luckily for you, I’ve done some research to give you a taste of what you can expect at some of these fantastic events.

Australia Day Celebrations

When: Thursday 26th January
Where: Memorial Park, The Entrance
What: Bring the whole family along for an action packed afternoon and night full of free entertainment and fun activities including a slip and slide, an ice cream eating competition, local performances, food stalls and rides, and a fireworks spectacular over the waterfront at 9pm. The celebrations begin at 12 noon with the firing of the canon with the help from the NSW Corps of Marines.

Psychic & Alternative Fair

When: Sunday 15th January
Where: Mingara Events Centre, Tumbi Umbi
What: Immerse yourself in a world of psychic wonder! This popular event returns again this year as the place to go for everything from natural healing to the supernatural and beyond. Take and alternative approach to physical, mental and spiritual well-being with a full day of self-discovery.

Mountain Sounds Festival

When: Saturday 18th February
Where: Mount Penang Gardens, Kariong
What: Music, art and culture are what make this boutique festival what it is, and you can expect a night full of entertainment with a full lineup of DJs and a silent disco. There’s also food trucks, a fully operating bar and more. Entry is free for those who camp on site, and with both 2015 and 2016 shows completely sold out, this year’s festival is looking to be bigger and better than ever.

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Mountain Sounds Festival 2016
Girakool Blues Festival

When: Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th March
Where: Mount Penang Gardens, Kariong
What: A great event full of fantastic music, aboriginal heritage and culture, and feasting on soul food from slow-cooked Texan Style BBQs. With the official opening starting at 11am and going through to 7.30pm, ticket prices include all 11 international, national and local Australian Blues and Roots Artists across the 2 stages.

NSW Pro Surf Series

When: 8th – 12th March
Where: Avoca Drive, Avoca Beach
What: One of the coasts best beaches will play host to the fourth event of the 2017 NSW Pro Surf Series, which was developed for Australian and International surfers to gain ranking points and prize money on the WSL Qualifying Series. With a massive surfing culture nationally, you can expect thousands of spectators to pack the shores of Avoca.

Operation Blackhawk Battlefield Challenge

When: Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th March
Where: Racecourse Road, West Gosford
What: Designed and led by Solider Dan, take part in this thrilling 7km military-style obstacle course, suitable for participants of all fitness levels. You can run, walk or crawl around the course as an individual or team – you’re even provided with clothes to get dirty in! There’s also the 1km KiddyHawk Course for kids aged 3-13 years old, so they can join in the fun too. And remember, its not how fast you complete the course but how much fun you have along the way!

Alive Festival

When: Saturday 25th March
Where: Kibble Park, Gosford
What: Focusing on being environmentally friendly and plant-based, this food festival is the first of its kind on the Central Coast. With plenty of fresh foods available on the day, the festival aims to be uplifting, positive and a fun event for the whole family while promoting a healthy lifestyle and sustainability.

Toast The Coast Food & Wine Festival

When: Saturday 1st April
Where: The Entertainment Grounds, Gosford
What: Renowned celebrity cook and author Julie Goodwin will be headlining the event with cooking demonstrations from her very own cooking school Julie’s Place. Also on the day: food and cooking, fine wines, craft beers and cider, live music, fine art and free kids entertainment.

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Toast The Coast Food & Wine Festival 2016
Zombie Dash

When: Saturday 8th April
Where: Mount Penang Gardens, Kariong
What: It’s a fun run with a twist! Zombie Dash sees participants dodging zombies through a 5km track made up of different zones. Audition as a zombie and be made up by SFX makeup artists, or register as a survivor for a chance at snagging a winners’ dog tag if you make it to the end alive! There’s also food and entertainment on the night, and kids as young as 8 can join the dash.

Narara Music Festival

When: Saturday 6th May
Where: Mount Penang Gardens, Kariong
What: With the last festival dating back to 1984, the Narara Music Festival is making a return after 33 years. Keeping with its tradition of never actually having been held in Narara, you can expect plenty of rock and blues. Australian legends such as INXS, Cold Chisel and Men At Work headlined the previous festivals, and each band that plays in this year’s festival will be performing two songs from the original two line-ups. There’s also a licensed bar, a merch tent and a handful of food stalls to keep the party going.

Fairhaven Services Autumn Fair

When: Saturday 13th May
Where: 209 Brisbane Water Drive, Point Clare
What: Fairhaven Services is a non-profit organisation supporting people with disabilities, and they host large outdoor charity markets three times a year, with a variety of stalls featuring clothing, plants, homewares, gifts. Plus you can bag a bargain at their op shop. BBQ and drinks will be available, plus coffee and cake at the Fare Cravin’ cafe. There’s always plenty of great things to find, see and enjoy for all ages, so come along and support a great cause!

Ettalong Beach Busk-A-Thon

When: Saturday 10th June
Where: Ettalong Beach Tourist Resort, Cnr Ocean View Road & Schnapper Road
What: The rules are simple: Buskers have to play live, unplugged and they should preferably perform original music. There’s Open and Youth categories, and because amps, backing tracks and mics are not permitted, every busker can be heard clearly, without imposing on each other or the shopkeepers. The judges are made up of ASC’s esteemed Faculty of hit songwriters, publishers, producers and industry professionals who roam the streets, listening to the variety of genres being performed. Come along to hear local talent and be part of the festive atmosphere!

5 Lands Walk

When: Saturday 24th June
Where: McMasters Beach to Terrigal Beach
What: The 5 Lands Walk isn’t a race or an extreme bushwalk; it’s a journey through and with the communities of the Central Coast, for participants of all ages and fitness levels. Enjoy the hospitality of each of the five lands which is hosted by local ethnic community providing music, entertainment, arts displays and food.

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Participants in the 5 Lands Walk 2016
Narara Ecoburbia Festival

When: Sunday 30th July
Where: Narara Valley High School, Cnr. Fountains and Pandala Roads, Narara
What: After an extremely successful festival debut last year, the Coast’s very own eco-friendly festival returns with the theme “Winter Warmth”, with plenty of food and entertainment, stalls and exhibitions, arts and crafts, workshops and sessions for the whole family to enjoy.

Central Coast Country Music Festival

When: Saturday 12th – Sunday 13th August
Where: Memorial Park, The Entrance
What: Don’t miss a great line up of free Country Music for the whole family to enjoy by the seaside. With most shows at Memorial Park free of charge, there’s also entertainment being held in a number of venues across the Wyong Shire. Other activities in the festival include the Poet’s Breakfast, Busking Competition, line dancing displays, stalls and amusement rides.

Yarramalong Valley Spring Festival

When: Sunday 10th September
Where: Yarramalong Valley & various locations in the Wyong Shire
What: Following the festival’s popular scarecrow competition running throughout the valley, the main event includes a number of attractions such as a wood chopping competition, an animal farm,, a variety of market and food stalls, classic cars display, and the inaugural wife carrying competition. Live music and entertainment will be provided throughout the day, so take a nice drive down to the valley for a fabulous day out!

Cancer Council Relay For Life

When: Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th October
Where: Mingara Athletic Track, Tumbi Umbi
What: Relay For Life is a fun and moving overnight experience that raises vital funds for the Cancer Council’s research, prevention, information and support services. It’s a chance for the Central Coast community to recognise and celebrate local cancer survivors, patients and their carers, to honour and remember loved ones lost to cancer and to raise money to help save more lives.

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Relay For Life Mingara 2015 (Photo: Sue Graham for The Daily Telegraph)
Chromefest

When: Friday 27st, Saturday 28nd & Sunday 29rd October
Where: Memorial Park, The Entrance
What:  There’s more to Chromefest than just the vintage cars! Check out the retro market stalls, witness the Sydney Swing Katz take over the dance floor, watch the show cars cruise past the beach or show off your style in the Vintage Glamour fashion parade.

Mangrove Mountain Country Fair

When: Saturday 29th October
Where: Corner of Wisemans Ferry Road & Waratah Road, Mangrove Mountain
What: Now in it’s 52nd year, this country-style annual event showcases everything from pony rides to muscle cars, native and local farm animals and birds as well as steam-powered machines and great art and craft exhibits. There’s billycart races, a chocolate wheel, games, local farm produce, cakes, jams and scones… as well as a few surprises thrown in!

Central Coast Kids Day Out

When: Sunday 5th November
Where: Kariong Mountains High School. Festival Drive, Kariong
What: The 18th annual CCKDO is all about our Central Coast kids, their families, the services and ways to enrich our families lives on the Central Coast. For a small entry fee on the day (Adults $7 Kids $3), you and the kids can enjoy plenty of rides and attractions, an animal farm, workshops, stalls, refreshments and entertainment. Don’t miss the #1 family event on the Central Coast!

Wyong Lakes Festival

When: Friday 10th – Sunday 19th November
Where: Memorial Park, The Entrance, McKenzie Reserve at Budgewoi & the foreshores of Canton Beach at Toukley, Colongra Bay at Lake Munmorah, Picnic Point, The Entrance & Long Jetty.
What: One of the Coast’s most popular annual festivals returns again for another 9 days of family fun! The program will feature an array of sporting, family, cultural, educational and live music events on and surrounding the Tuggerah Lakes catchment area. The 2017 program is yet to be released but stay tuned as you don’t want to miss this!

Brisbane Water Oyster Festival

When: Sunday 12th November
Where: Ettalong Foreshore, Ettalong Beach
What: This fabulous day our commences with a full program of live entertainment, and features fine wine from our neighbours in the Hunter Valley and food from around the world.  With over 40 art and craft stall as well as exhibition stands, there’s something for everyone (even if you don’t eat oysters)!

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Crowds at the Brisbane Water Oyster Festival 2016
Central Coast Half Marathon

When: Sunday 26th November
Where: Memorial Park, The Entrance
What: Proudly organised by the Central Coast Hash House Harriers, a not-for-profit running club, the Central Coast Half Marathon and 10km Fun Run will once again be raising funds for The Cancer Council. All runs follow the cycle path from The Entrance to Chittaway Bay, and the course is flat, fast, scenic and officially certified as 21.1km for the Half Marathon and 10km for the Fun Run. If you fundraise $250 for their partner charity, you’ll get to run for free! And not only is there prize money up for grabs, ALL finishers will received a medallion and certificate of completion. Get fit for a good cause!

The Christmas Fair

When: Sunday 3rd December
Where: Mount Penang Gardens, Kariong
What: Enjoy the Coast’s only outdoor Christmas shopping experience while chilling-out in a relaxing environment near the water. With plenty of parking available all day and free entry, this all-ages shopping event features over 150 hand picked, high quality local arts and crafts, an international food zone and fresh seasonal produce, puddings and cakes. There’s also heaps of live music, face painting and activities to keep the kids entertained, plus a certain bearded man in a red suit may make a surprise visit too!

New Year’s Eve Celebrations

When: Sunday 31st December
Where: Memorial Park, The Entrance
What: Welcome in 2018 and celebrate the end of the year with your friends and family at this wonderful family orientated NYE event. Entertainment starts at 4.30pm on the Sails Stage and continues in Memorial Park at 6pm, finishing the program with a fantastic fireworks display over The Entrance Channel at 9pm. This party environment and atmosphere is safe, alcohol free and full of festive spirit, so bring the whole family along, but come early to snag a good parking spot and a picnic area!

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NYE Fireworks at The Entrance 2015 (Photo: Laurie Kennedy for The Daily Telegraph)

For a full calendar of absolutely everything that’s happening on the Central Coast (there’s a LOT!), head to visitcentralcoast.com.au/events and subscribe for updates!

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