THIS Friday night, Airlie Beach Esplanade is the place to be as the Clipper Race Carnival Bendigo Bank Welcome Party kicks off.
Let your senses sail away with live music and fresh local food and drinks.
There will be markets, rides, performances and activities for the kids and the finale will be a fireworks display.
And best of all - it's free.
The community is urged by organisers to come and celebrate the launch of something "wondrous in the Whitsundays” with special guest Clipper crews from around the world.
Bring the family along for a great night out from 5pm, for a 5.15pm parade and official event opening.
At 5.40pm there will be a Welcome to Country by a local Indigenous elder followed by live entertainment at 7pm.
Minnie Marks and Friends and Busby Marou will headline performances until 9.15pm celebratory fireworks will light up the night sky and conclude the event.
Tourism Whitsundays CEO Craig Turner said the Bendigo Bank Clipper Race Welcome Party was going to be a great way of kicking off an action packed couple of weeks of unique events in the Whitsundays.
"We have invested significantly in getting a fantastic band in Busby Marou, which will set the mood and from there, the party continues for a couple of weeks,” he said.
"One of the great things about the Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival is that it will showcase many parts of our destination.
"This is not about Airlie Beach, it embraces the fantastic experiences reaching from Bowen and Proserpine to the islands.”
Another event to look forward to in the Clipper Carnival program is the Open Boat Days, where locals have the chance to be among the first to tour the magnificent racing yachts and be inspired by the tales of those taking part.
Stationed at Abell Point Marina , the event will run from January 19-21 and 25-27.
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