Kicking off the New Year in top gear – Summernats starts today

Jane Speechley 2 January 2020 86
The iconic Summernats City Cruise

The iconic Summernats City Cruise is taking place today. Photo: Peter Norton.

Summernats, Australia’s biggest car festival opens in Canberra today and runs through until Sunday.

The Street Machine Summernats 33 is expected to attract more than 100,000 passionate attendees, as well as 2,000 entrants who have come from all over Australia and all over the world, to share their love for cars.

The Summernats City Cruise

The Summernats City Cruise is on today. Photo: Peter Norton.

The iconic annual celebration of all things on wheels officially kicked off today at 12:00 pm with the City Cruise through the streets of the CBD, a reminder also that there are likely to be road closures around Northbourne Avenue for this short period of time.

Summernats City Cruise

Something for everyone in the Summernats City Cruise. Photo: Peter Norton.

Highlights of the first day at EPIC will include Modified Lawn Mower Racing in the main arena until 5:00 pm, followed by music and entertainment until late.

Lawn Mower Racing

The spectacle of Lawn Mower Racing at Summernats. Photo: Summernats Facebook page.

The Friday night stage line-up includes headline act and much-loved Aussie hip hop trio, Bliss n Eso, while Saturday night will see Aussie rocker Shannon Noll take to the stage after spending the day hosting Summernats’ Fashions in the Field, as well as the Body Art Nationals and the increasingly popular Mullet Competition.

Saturday is likely to be the biggest day as always, and will include activities across the entire venue all day, culminating in the highlight of the SuperCruise around the main arena from 7:30 pm.

Vehicle display

Get up close and personal with some incredible vehicles. Photo: Summernats Facebook page.

After viewing all those extraordinary vehicles, you might wonder what it takes to be the best of the best. To find out, make sure you’re there at 12:30 pm on Sunday for the presentation of the Street Machine Summernats Grand Champion Award.

Rare and unique cars

Rare and unique cars in absolutely mint condition. Photo: Summernats Facebook page.

As always, the quintessential parts of the Summernats programs will be running across the weekend, from the Burnout Championships to Tuff Street and Skid Row; Shannon’s Show ‘n’ Shine to the Meguiar’s judging pavilion; cruising, drifting, and motorkhana, as well as traders and exhibitions.

There’s a kids club running every day as well, with games, activities, awards and even a Junior Dragster Start Up.

Spray painting

Lots to keep the younger members of your family happy and entertained as well. Photo: Summernats Facebook page.

Even if you’re not mad about cars, it’s inspiring to see the work of people who are incredibly passionate about what they do, and to see – literally– some of the best-kept motor vehicles in the country, and in the world.

It’s also great fun to check out elite examples of the cars we’ve known throughout our lives – from Geminis and Datsuns, to Mustangs and Camaros, sports and performance cars, hot rods, utes and trucks, and more.

The Summernats City Cruise

The Summernats City Cruise only happens once a year. Photo: Peter Norton.

You can view the full program online and book your tickets at

Summernats City Cruise

Summernats City Cruise. Photo: Peter Norton.

What's Your Opinion?

Please login to post your comments, or connect with
86 Responses to Kicking off the New Year in top gear – Summernats starts today
Chris Martin Chris Martin 7:19 pm 28 May 20

im wondering if children under 11 years of age are free entry ?????????

Megan van der Velde Megan van der Velde 10:29 pm 03 Jan 20

Anyone who does not live in the Summernats area and experiences the noise and smoke should not be commenting on how fun it is to go ahead with it under these circumstances. We are already choking here – please not the usual rubber burnout smoke on top of it!!!! Surely people an just look at cars and all the other stuff this year and give it a break on the worst day of fires coming. Please ACT government – step up and govern!!

    grim123 grim123 1:57 pm 04 Jan 20

    Stop using a national emergency to further your hatred of summernats. It’s disgraceful.

Margie Dorman Margie Dorman 8:16 pm 03 Jan 20

I think this year will prove to be a big fizzer. People very preoccupied with other pressing issues creating smoke. 🔥

Kriso Hadskini Kriso Hadskini 7:45 am 03 Jan 20

They BETTER NOT be flicking their durries out the window this weekend. ACT leaders are weak as for not insisting on a cancellation. Just the amount of heat struck idiots that will present at Canberra Hospital when they are already overstretched is enough to close it down.

John Elliott John Elliott 6:53 am 03 Jan 20

You beauty Summernats is back 😎

Trinity King Trinity King 6:29 am 03 Jan 20

Not canceling this event is putting lives at risk.

Acton Acton 6:18 am 03 Jan 20

Another good article Jane. Just ignore the silly bleating from some very selfish and over protected residents of the Canberra nanny state. Summernats is welcome entertainment and a break from the bush fires. Thank you and welcome to all participants who came here despite the smoke.

Suzanne Garnett Suzanne Garnett 4:27 am 03 Jan 20

Is heat stroke not a hazard, with such high temperatures expected ?

Terri Lee Gill Terri Lee Gill 10:40 pm 02 Jan 20

Ok so fires are burning ok we understand that smoke is thick and precautions and advice

have been communicated to the public it is up to the public and individuals to decide if they go out and breathe in the smoke unless the organisers cancel it people will continue to go and that is called CHOICE

I was driving around streets of Canberra yesterday and the amount of people I saw walking children and dogs in the thick of it amazed me but you know what I was out in it too why cause I chose to be Summernats happens every year and every year there are people who complain about the burnouts the noise the riff raff the poor behaviour honestly people get a grip what can we do stay put inside our houses not venture out?

Fair dinkum it’s one weekend a year if it wasn’t filled with smoke already the do gooders would be complaining anyway so get over it it’s happening and will continue to happen get a grip

    Annie Wyer Annie Wyer 10:55 pm 02 Jan 20

    Terri Lee Gill good luck breathing overnight if you’re in a tent when the strong choking burning wood smell rolls in. The smoke during the day doesn’t have the same smell. There are no masks available anywhere and most shops aren’t stocking air purifiers - sold out too.

    I expect people will go home before the event finishes. Stay safe, 41 deg on Saturday.

    Terri Lee Gill Terri Lee Gill 10:56 pm 02 Jan 20

    Annie Wyer as I said choice people were warned to stay at home and not venture away but they chose to go unfortunately it’s a thing choice and as grown adults people will choose to do what they want they know what they are in for and what they will be breathing in they have been well informed

    Mark Collis Mark Collis 11:49 pm 02 Jan 20

    Terri Lee Gill for heaven’s sake look at the air pollution levels. This is not about stopping Summernats it is about suspending the burnouts.

    Tim Richards Tim Richards 7:14 am 03 Jan 20

    Not sure the baby has much of a choice in this situation. It's pretty clear that the organisers are more interested in money than people's safety.

Richard Robinson Richard Robinson 10:20 pm 02 Jan 20

Fair Dinkum you really want it shut down? I guess when we have water restrictions you will want floriade stopped.

    Mark Collis Mark Collis 10:25 pm 02 Jan 20

    Richard Robinson at some point water restrictions might require Floriade to be suspended. Maybe when water levels are equivalent of twenty times hazardous levels!

    Richard Robinson Richard Robinson 10:28 pm 02 Jan 20

    Mark Collis your point is pointless

    Mark Collis Mark Collis 11:55 pm 02 Jan 20

    Richard Robinson not sure a point can be pointless. Nevertheless I will try to explain for you, when water levels are equivalent to the dire levels of our current air quality hard decisions about use of water usage (including whether to support Floriade) may need to be made.

    Richard Robinson Richard Robinson 6:53 am 03 Jan 20

    Mark Collis you still are pointless,

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 8:25 am 03 Jan 20

    Richard Robinson What I find pointless is someone making a pointless comment like yours.

    Richard Robinson Richard Robinson 8:46 am 03 Jan 20

    Julie Macklin how so? I asked about water restrictions and Floriade

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 9:33 am 03 Jan 20

    Richard Robinson And Mark Collis answered it.

    Richard Robinson Richard Robinson 10:25 am 03 Jan 20

    Julie Macklin maybe when water levels are equal to 20 times hazoudous isn't an how about you go away, ta ta

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 2:20 pm 03 Jan 20

    Richard Robinson I'm going, because your comments are the pointless ones. Not worth reading. Yawn. Ta Ta old chap.

Mark Collis Mark Collis 9:32 pm 02 Jan 20

Really!?! No mention of burn outs in the current conditions😞😞 These photos are not this year because this year there is acrid hazardous smoke sitting over Canberra. When air quality is 10 to 20 times hazardous levels there needs to be some political will to shut burnouts down! Min Berry what is State of Alert FFS.

Tim Richards Tim Richards 9:14 pm 02 Jan 20

This was taken at Summernats today. Given these unprecedented times why is this continuing?! Someone at Summernats or in the ACT Government needs to show leadership and cancel the event. Auspost, Dickson Pool, Questacon etc etc have all done the right thing.

    Diane Asenoguan Diane Asenoguan 9:17 pm 02 Jan 20

    Tim Richards No Mick Gentleman was on camera today saying Epic couldn't be used to evacuate horses bcus of Summernats. What a despicable human putting money beyond everything else.

    Steph Illy Steph Illy 9:24 pm 02 Jan 20

    Tim Richards I guess Summernats enthusiasts don't mind smog and stink. With all the rubber burnouts and exhausts this little bit of smoke will hardly make a difference...

    Fi Gilmore Fi Gilmore 10:35 pm 02 Jan 20

    poor kid 😞

    Tegan Martin Tegan Martin 10:37 pm 02 Jan 20

    This photo is because a selfish parent put her child in it. Did the event coordinators of summernats hold her down and force her to take her kid into it? No.

    Stop blaming the event and start blaming that sorry excuse for a parent.

    Jodie Crichton Jodie Crichton 12:11 am 03 Jan 20

    It's not a government run event 😒

    Kriso Hadskini Kriso Hadskini 7:50 am 03 Jan 20

    Stephanie Borst Exactly, they are human dinosaurs enjoying the last gasp of polluting leisure time.

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 8:28 am 03 Jan 20

    What an irresponsible parent! Is she cruel or just very stupid?

    Mark Collis Mark Collis 11:30 pm 04 Jan 20

    Jodie Crichton no but it is government regulated under a number of Territory Acts.

    Leah Brinkley Leah Brinkley 12:49 am 05 Jan 20

    Tegan Martin agreed what the hell was she the mother thinking !!!!

    Leah Brinkley Leah Brinkley 12:50 am 05 Jan 20

    Diane Asenoguan we could put horses at Tuggeranong homestead

Susan Hutchinson Susan Hutchinson 9:00 pm 02 Jan 20

Guzzling gas when we can barely breath from the pollution of a fire catastrophe made so because of climate change.

    David Jackson David Jackson 11:36 pm 02 Jan 20

    Susan Hutchinson really? Climate change has absolutely nothing to do with the fires. How about you remove your tin foil hat?

    Susan Hutchinson Susan Hutchinson 11:44 pm 02 Jan 20

    How about you read, listen to the chiefs of the emergency services, and the scientists.

Rob Thomas Rob Thomas 8:55 pm 02 Jan 20

Canberra is a place of open mindedness and diversity.

I don't like this and so it should not be.

Frank Trapani Frank Trapani 8:20 pm 02 Jan 20

Why cancelled? Its a major local and international once a year attraction, that brings great revenue for Canberra. I hope they parade a long the Flemington road so I can see them....

    Mark Collis Mark Collis 9:47 pm 02 Jan 20

    Frank Trapani I have nothing against Summernats, but I do think it is irresponsible to continue in forecast weather and air quality this year.

    Frank Trapani Frank Trapani 10:03 pm 02 Jan 20

    Mark Collis, don't know what to say about what's happening at the sure is very sad and haven't seen a spreading fire like this in the 52 yrs that I been in Australia. But, I also know that we, are very resilient people and we, need to go on and generate as much money as we can get it right now and help our fellow Australians in any way that we, can..?

    Mark Collis Mark Collis 10:39 pm 02 Jan 20

    Frank Trapani we are resilient. But open your windows and look what 10 to 20 times hazardous levels of air pollution is like. This is a public health issue not a micro economic issue.

    Frank Trapani Frank Trapani 11:13 pm 02 Jan 20

    Mark Collis, I have my windows and door open and I am still going for a walk and see many other people doing the same thing...Some people wear masks and some people wear nothing...and some if have a medical condition of cause, must take care ...And some people's love to see their passion and their investment in cars to get what they've been waiting for, for the whole year..!! I don't know about you, but, I am going to watch it and hopefully enjoy it..

    Julie Delves Julie Delves 11:17 pm 02 Jan 20

    Frank Trapani Generating money should be secondary to looking after your own health. But you know, if these people want to be sucking in the toxic air, go for it, but don’t show up at the public hospital if you have breathing problems.

    Frank Trapani Frank Trapani 11:23 pm 02 Jan 20

    Julie Delves...So what you have in mind? That I am barricade myself inside the house Or wear a mask if needed and still enjoy the show..‼️

    Mark Collis Mark Collis 11:43 pm 02 Jan 20

    Frank Trapani no just advocate for less air pollution.

    Mark Collis Mark Collis 11:46 pm 02 Jan 20

    Frank Trapani no just don’t support burning rubber in these conditions - pretty simple really

    Frank Trapani Frank Trapani 3:41 am 03 Jan 20

    Mark Collis, and neither do I support burning properties caused by arsonists or, by some so called "Act of God?" A lot of rubber has been burned and good people have died in the process of fighting those burning and many people are struggling to breathe and you say you're concern with the once a year Summernats?? I am not concern because, we have many good people that are organising this event and would not be authorising to go ahead if it wasn't safe to do so - Pretty simple really

    Tim Richards Tim Richards 7:20 am 03 Jan 20

    It's pretty clear the organisers are more interested in money than people's safety. They would have made the same commonsense decision as Dickson Pool, Questacon, Auspost, etc etc etc

    Frank Trapani Frank Trapani 9:04 am 03 Jan 20

    Tim Richards That is nonsense and definitely not true. But, I agree with you that there is many other organisations and organiser that their interest are driven by self gaining, in fact, this whole world is about and the use any reason or excuse to get money because, they're mammoth, mammoth and hypocrite mammoth...

    Frank Trapani Frank Trapani 9:11 am 03 Jan 20

    I'll say "Hands off pleasure" and let people enjoy it the things that make them happy..After all, they payed lots of their own money to participate and watch the Summernats...

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 5:47 pm 04 Jan 20

    Tim Richards Questacon didn’t have much choice but to close. They had to disable the fire alarm system as the smoke was setting it off.

Sarah Hearn Sarah Hearn 8:06 pm 02 Jan 20

Coz that's exactly what Canberra needs right now and with the forecast conditions for Saturday.

    Dimity McClelland-Smith Dimity McClelland-Smith 8:48 pm 02 Jan 20

    yay! Extra pollution!

    Sarah Hearn Sarah Hearn 9:13 pm 02 Jan 20

    Dimity McClelland-Smith extra people, extra cars, burnouts are a great idea!!

    And additionlly there is nowhere as suitable for people to relocate horses. Yes the various showgrounds are open but they're not as safe and don't have yards or stabling.

    Dimity McClelland-Smith Dimity McClelland-Smith 9:22 pm 02 Jan 20

    Saz Hearn all true. For us right this moment though, it’s the additional air pollution that’s the issue for the most part. The other day my neighbour couldn’t see her yard from over the fence on my side of the house the smoke was so thick. 🤢

    Sarah Hearn Sarah Hearn 9:26 pm 02 Jan 20

    Dimity McClelland-Smith I understand its horrendous but with the conditions due on Saturday a lot of people are already having to think about relocations. Particularly people on properties between Canberra and Cooma. 😢 It only takes one idiot with a match.

Serina Bird Serina Bird 8:06 pm 02 Jan 20

During a time of extreme fire danger.

Ben Roberts Ben Roberts 6:32 pm 02 Jan 20

Should have been canceled today

Karl Kovach Karl Kovach 6:04 pm 02 Jan 20

Disgraceful that this is going ahead. These bogan hoons have no respect or regard for anyone or anything.

    Richard Robinson Richard Robinson 10:18 pm 02 Jan 20

    Karl Varnsen why don't you pop out there and let them know your thoughts. One of the blokes who has been doing the most for the RFS is out there with his car,

    Tegan Martin Tegan Martin 10:47 pm 02 Jan 20

    Karl Varnsen Most of these "bogan hoons" you refer to spend their hard earned money building, restoring and working on their cars for this event. They're not running around stealing other peoples things, starting fires or causing trouble for anyone else. They've waited a year for the event, purchased tickets, and some have trailered their cars across the country to be there.

    I bet that most of the people who are complaining about summernats going ahead are the same morons who flooded the coast even after the RFS told them not to.

    On your high horse and off you go, Hippie.

    Krystal Zoe Krystal Zoe 11:58 pm 02 Jan 20

    My family have worked on the current fires for 6 weeks straight now so if you don't mind we'll enjoy our ONE morning of something else we love, cars.✌️

    Damien Harrop Damien Harrop 12:12 am 03 Jan 20

    Karl Varnsen they could do it in public places all year round, or wait for the handful of events like this that pop up around the place.

    The 'bogan hoons' that do it all year round in public places rarely have a car worthy of bringing to an event like this. The ones who work hard on their pride and joy aren't so wreckless to risk it being taken off them.

Neal Baudinette Neal Baudinette 6:00 pm 02 Jan 20

Shameful given what's happening

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Region Group Pty Ltd

Search across the site