Organised by the Newcastle Rotary Clubs, the inaugural event saw huge crowds "Light Up Newcastle" with red lanterns to ring in Chinese New Year. The crowds were treated to some Chinese music and choir performances as well as lion dances, marching bands and the ever popular "tug-boat ballet".
Later in the evening, with the glowing red lanterns dotting the Honeysuckle precinct, a spectacular fireworks display lit up the harbour, delighting local and visiting onlookers.
Money raised from the sale of the lanterns will go to the Newcastle Mission to Seafarers. The Mission assists sailors visiting the Port of Newcastle with a ‘home away from home’ at the Seafarers Centre at Wickham. Currently over 40,000 seafarers use the services offered by the Mission each year, with transport to the Centre, shopping, banking and healthcare. The Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle helps provide social and spiritual support to the seafarers through a chaplaincy program and would like to thank the Newcastle Rotary Clubs and event sponsors for their generous support of the Newcastle Mission to Seafarers.