Thousands of spectators have flocked to Civic to watch a convoy of street machines for the opening 26th Summernats.
Car lovers lined Northbourne Avenue on Thursday as 200 cars cruised into the city to mark the beginning of the four-day festival.
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Organisers said a record number of entrants meant crowd numbers could top the 90,000 that turned out for Summernats’ 25thanniversary last year.
“All our indications are showing that this is going to be a really good year for the Summernats, which will then mean a great year for business in Canberra for our event,” Summnernats co-owner Andy Lopez said.
“We’ve gone from 1500 entrants at Summernats 25, up to over 1700 for this year, which is a fantastic vote of confidence from the street machine community about the event and shows that the Summernats is staying relevant.”
“This is the only serious sort of motorcade that happens in Australia that hasn’t got an overpaid politician in it,” Mr Lopez said.
Mr Lopez said the festival typically brought about $15 million to the ACT economy.
He said as Summernats evolved into a more family friendly event, it was more focused on offering a “complete” entertainment experience, minus the adult entertainment of previous years.
“Our event’s always about cars and the add-on stuff – we like the music program, we like the fireworks, interesting things like the world burnout record attempt, putting on the city cruise, I think that’s why people come to the Summernats," he said.
“I know our punters and entrants are on board with that.
“I think it has [the festival] turned a corner in a very positive way.”