Weekend of festivities to commemorate 200 years of history with entertainment, nostalgia and glamour


It’s a commemoration 200 years in the making, and Mayor of Singleton Cr Sue Moore is encouraging everyone to be part of Singleton’s bicentennial this weekend.

The major focus for the Back to Singleton 2020 program is this Friday and Saturday, starting with Singleton Homecoming to take over John Street, Singleton on 13 March ahead of the family-friendly Singleton Day Out and all the old-time glamour of the Singleton Soiree on 14 March.

There’ll also be a host of community events happening across the weekend to lead into a year-long program of festivities.

Cr Moore said the bicentennial marked the anniversary of the European exploration of the area we now know as Singleton, when John Howe led a party that included two Aboriginal trackers on a venture for an overland route between Windsor and the Hunter River valley, arriving in Whittingham on 15 March 1820.

But she said the occasion was more significant as a way to bring everyone in the community together to reflect on the thousands of years of history of our part of the world, celebrate what we love about living and working in Singleton, and look forward to the future.

“I’m really excited for the festivities to get underway at Singleton Homecoming on Friday, when we’ll be closing off John Street to bring in food trucks, community stalls, live music, roving entertainment and kids activities, not to mention an extra special vintage slide show, for a street party from 6pm,” she said.

“Next up will be the Singleton Day Out with live magic, music, entertainment, jumping castles, a Hunter Valley Zoo animal display and more, all on the Civic Green on Saturday from 11am to 4pm. You can also check out a packed program of events in the Library, including a video produced by school students from across Singleton.”

After the free events, media personality and Singleton son Craig Hamilton will host the glamorous Singleton Soiree in the Civic Centre on Saturday night, featuring music by pop jazz nostalgia band the Roslyns, bush poetry, entertainment and mouthwatering canapes and desserts courtesy of Mama’s Kitchen.

Tickets cost $35 per person and do not include drinks.

“And there’s even more to do across the weekend with a host of community events to suit everyone, from vintage tennis to tours of the state-of-the-art Hedweld Advanced Manufacturing Facility, and from the first viewing of the Dale Frank Botanical Gardens to the New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra at the Sisters’ Chapel at Sacred Spaces at the Sisters of Mercy,” Cr Moore said.

“It’s a great weekend for locals to get out and explore our own backyard, and for visitors to experience what makes Singleton the special place it is – and best of all, many of the events are free.

“On behalf of everyone involved in the Back to Singleton 2020 program, I extend an invitation to everyone to plan your weekend and be part of the festivities right across the weekend and throughout the year.”

The full year-long Back to Singleton 2020 program is available at www.singleton.nsw.gov.au/backtosingleton2020

Plan your weekend

Friday 13 March

  • Singleton Homecoming – John Street, Singleton – 6-11pm
    FREE EVENT featuring live music from Whiskey Business and the Mark Wells Band, roving entertainment, vintage slide show, community stalls, kids activities, food trucks and local wineries
  • Hedweld Advanced Manufacturing Facility tours – Hedweld, 5 Thrift Close Mt Thorley – 10am-12pm
    Experience the operations of global leaders Hedweld as they celebrate 30 years of manufacturing in the area where it all began

Saturday 14 March

  • Singleton Day Out – Civic Green – 11am to 4pm
    FREE family-friendly fun with entertainment by the Tim Harding Band, magic by the Pretty Amazing Jono, animals from Hunter Valley Zoo, kids entertainment, kids games and more! There’s also a packed program of entertainment at Singleton Library including Dreamtime Storytime, a video screening by local school students, damper kitchen, old-timey photo booth, fibre art demonstration, paper bonnet making and more
  • Lunch, Cricket and Croquet – Howe Park Tennis Club – 12pm
    Experience tennis of yesteryear with vintage tennis clothes and wooden racquets
  • Singleton Soiree – Civic Centre – 6-11pm
    Step back in time with pop jazz nostalgia band The Roslyns playing live, bush poets, nostalgic slide show and entertainment all hosted by media personality and Singleton son Craig Hamilton. Tickets cost $35 including canapes, desserts and cheeses by Mama’s Kitchen and are available online at www.stickytickets.com.au/pz250, Singleton Council’s Administration Building or Singleton Visitor Information Centre

Sunday 15 March

  • Open Day and Evensong - All Saint’s Anglican Church – all day; Evensong 6pm
    Experience the history of All Saint’s Anglican Church
  • New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra – Sisters’ Chapel at Sacred Spaces at the Sisters of Mercy Convent – 2pm
    Tap your feet along to the music of the 1920s. Tickets also include a delicious Convent-made afternoon tea
  • Singleton Hospital Reunion – Singleton Hospital – from 8.30am
    Enjoy breakfast on the lawns of the hospital and reconnect with old friends with tours of the hospital and museum
  • Bushwalk Together – Catherine Vale Wines – 11.30am-2.30pm
    Enjoy a day of singing, dancing and indigenous food, art and walks in the bush, hosted by Broke Bulga Landcare Group
  • Singleton Garden Viewing – Hambledon Hill – 2pm-6pm
    Be among the first to experience the Dale Frank Botanical Gardens, a “dry garden” of rare species and plants set in the grounds of the original c1864 “Hambledon Hill”

For more information including bookings, visit www.singleton.nsw.gov.au/backtosingleton2020