In what might be one of the most unique weddings in Australian history, the iconic Alice Springs Red CentreNATS car festival will this year include a white wedding on the program.
The one-of-a-kind nuptials will take place following a nationwide hunt for two loved-up car enthusiasts willing to tie the knot or renew their vows at Australia’s Ultimate Festival of Wheels, which takes place from 3-5 September.
Canberra couple Bonnie and Joel Sykes were the lucky lovebirds to take out the competition, after submitting a heart-felt and hilarious video outlining why they wanted to get hitched at the iconic Territory event.
“We’ve been together for 12 years and engaged for six years – since then we’ve had two kids, Noah, 5 and Chloe, 9 months. I didn’t think we’d ever actually get married so I went and legally changed my surname to Sykes,” Bonnie said.
“We were so excited when we found out we won the wedding competition – we are completely over the moon. It’s such a great opportunity and we are super grateful.
“We are really happy that we’re finally getting married and can’t wait to enter this year’s Red CentreNATS. Getting to lead the street parade is huge too, we are so excited!”
A unique drawcard for a car festival in the heart of Australia, the Red CentreNATS wedding is a fitting addition to the program after numerous couples got engaged and had children as a result of meeting at previous instalments of the event.
Tim Watsford, CEO of Northern Territory Major Events Company, who is the event organiser supported by Summernats, said it was exciting to see the program evolve each year.
“It’s great to see this year’s event offer more for entrants and spectators, with the 2021 program boasting an incredible wedding ceremony and reception for two very lucky car enthusiasts,” he said.
“The Red Centre is such a beautiful part of our country. What better place to tie the knot than against the stunning backdrop of the West MacDonnell Ranges?”
Summernats co-owner Andy Lopez congratulated Bonnie and Joel Sykes on taking out the Red CentreNATS wedding.
“These nuptials are going to be epic. In the past we’ve seen couples get engaged at Red CentreNATS and then go on to have children, but this is our first wedding,” he said.
“We couldn’t be happier to see two of our amazing entrants make their love official at Australia’s Ultimate Festival of Wheels.”
The wedding competition attracted entries from across Australia, with couples of all ages vying for the chance to win a decked-out, automotive-inspired wedding in one of the most picturesque locations in the country.
Up for grabs was a $15,000 wedding package and the chance to celebrate the two biggest loves of their life – their other half and their car!
Thanks to their winning entry highlighting their four-wheeled pride and joy, Bonnie and Joel have won themselves an incredible wedding package including the ceremony, a celebrant, reception for up to 20 people, a hen’s and buck’s party, flowers, a cake, photography, videography and more.
The bride and groom will also lead the popular street parade on Saturday, 4 September, where thousands of onlookers will cheer the newlyweds through the streets of Alice Springs.
The Red CentreNATS wedding and reception will take place at Blatherskite Park on Saturday, 4 September and Sunday, 5 September respectively.
This marks the seventh annual Red CentreNATS in Alice Springs, with each instalment attracting hundreds of entrants from all corners of the country. It’s a yearly pilgrimage for dedicated interstate car enthusiasts and their prized possessions, who join hundreds of Territorians in entering the event across numerous categories.
Boasting everything from a show & shine, Australia’s largest street parade, grass driving and motorkhana to drags, burnouts and more, the event also features a popular Podium Party which sees some of Australia’s biggest names in music perform on stage.
With close to 700 entries already received, Mr Watsford said he was looking forward to welcoming car lovers from all over Australia to Alice Springs next month.
“The 2021 instalment is not to be missed with a fantastic program offering something for all members of the family,” he said.
“We are proud to back this unique event, which sees Alice Springs bustling with car enthusiasts from all over.”
To find out more, purchase tickets or enter the event, visit www.redcentrenats.com.au.