Canberra's national street machine celebration has declared itself ready to roll in January after the territory's pathway out of lockdown and the race past 80 per cent full vaccination were revealed.
The timing of Summernats 34 early in the New Year positions it as the first major event on the ACT's post-lockdown summer calendar.
With tourism dollars sorely needed to boost the ACT's struggling economy, Summernats is expected to provide a crucial post-Christmas shot in the arm and plans are well-developed to stage the event under COVID-safe protocols.
A recently commissioned economic impact study has revealed that the street machine festival would inject an estimated $30 million into the ACT in early 2022, with the majority of the money from interstate.
Summernats co-owner Andy Lopez was pleased and excited to hear of ACT Chief's Minister Andrew Barr's intention to allow large scale events once vaccination targets had been reached.
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His aim now was to deliver an event which brings "hope, optimism and normality" to the ACT community.
"We know we are not everyone's cup of tea so wouldn't it be great to have a normal summer again where everyone who wants to go to the coast can go, and up at Exhibition Park we can stage a really great event just like we have for many years in the past," he said.
Summernats was cancelled this year and a subsequent March event, Rev Rock and Roll, also called off. But the promoter has staged other successful events this year across the country, all operating with site-specific COVID-safe plans.
"We have a COVID plan already developed but clearly as Canberra continues with its incredible vaccination rate, we will work on finessing that plan with ACT Health as we move closer to the event," Mr Lopez said.
Canberra's most awarded modified car builder and multiple Summernats grand champion Peter Fitzpatrick was delighted the event was back on and predicted this show would be the biggest yet.
"There are so many amazing new car builds getting prepped for this, it's going to be something else," he said.
David Marshall, the chair of the Canberra Region Tourism Leaders Forum, said events like Summernats would be pivotal to driving the recovery of the hotels, tourism, hospitality and the retail sectors.
Kel Watt, who represents the Braddon retailers and traders, said members "can't wait to welcome back the diversity, colour and excitement that an event like Summernats brings to our precinct".
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