2019 Burton Automotive Hunter Valley Steamfest is returning to Maitland this weekend

FESTIVAL FUN: Sanjex Seretti, pictured, will be one of the entertainers on hand at this weekend's Steamfest at the Rally Ground. Picture: Supplied
FESTIVAL FUN: Sanjex Seretti, pictured, will be one of the entertainers on hand at this weekend's Steamfest at the Rally Ground. Picture: Supplied

Have you heard the one about the great race between an historic Tiger Moth and two steam trains?

No, it's not a joke, but the main attraction at Australia's biggest celebration of steam, Burton Automotive Hunter Valley Steamfest on Saturday and Sunday.

"The highlight of the weekend is the Great Train Race on Sunday morning. It always sees people lining up at railway bridges and crosses from Newcastle to Maitland," Maitland Council events coordinator Adam Franks said.

"We also have Show 'n' Shine at Maitland Park, and we are expecting over 400 classic vehicles and hot rods on display as well.

"So it's certainly going to be a very exciting weekend."

The Rally Ground will showcase a collection of portable engines, traction engines and vintage farming equipment in addition to a dedicated kids area and entertainment featuring Sanjex Seratti with vintage games and penny farthing demonstrations.

Steam locomotives 3265 and 3526 will return to Steamfest for the first time in a number of years, as well as old favourite heritage diesels the Red Rattler and Tin Hare.

Mr Franks said council is expecting over 50,000 people will flock to Maitland for the flagship event.

"We've got people from all over the country who buy tickets to Steamfest," he said.

"It's one of our events that seems to cut through to people. I think it's so popular because it's got something for everyone - the people who used to ride steam trains and then they bring their grandchildren.

"It's got a bit of something for everyone.

"We are conscious to mix it up every year so this year we've got the two locomotives who haven't been to Steamfest in quite some time."

In addition to the steam locomotive and heritage diesel journeys and the Rally Ground, hundreds of cars will be on display at Sunday's Show 'n' Shine in Maitland Park and entertainment will be available across the weekend including live music, kids' activities, and food and market stalls.

To find out more about Steamfest, including the event program and ticketing information, visit steamfest.com.au