Burnout at Summernats in 2005
|Location(s)||Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC), Canberra|
|Inaugurated||31 December 1987|
Summernats, is an annual car festival held in Canberra, Australia since 1987. Summernats, which is usually held at the start of the year, is the best known car festival in Australia, and an event which attracts many tourists to Canberra, bringing in excess of $20 million in economic benefit to the ACT economy. It has increasingly been promoted as an event for families. The Summernats spectator attendance record was set in 2017 with 119,184 spectators attending. 
Summernats features many street machines with airbrushed artwork, and restored and modified cars. It is held over a four-day period, with many events, with prizes in competitions such as for burnouts, parades of cars around the track, a Miss Summernats competition, fireworks at night and two outdoor concerts held on Friday and Saturday nights.
Promotion and partnerships
Between 1987 and 2009, Summernats' promoter and organiser was Chic Henry. Henry sold Summernats in 2009 to a new company called Summernats Pty Ltd. The naming rights sponsor of Summernats is Street Machine magazine, and the presenting sponsor is Rare Spares.
The ACT Government has expressed its strong support of Summernats, praising the significant benefit it brings to Canberra's economy.
Many awards are given during the course of the festival.
- 2017 Mark Williams
- 2016 John Saad
- 2015 Nathan Borg
- 2014 Henry Parry
- 2013: Mick Fabar from Orange, New South Wales, with a 1967 Ford XR Falcon sedan;
- 2012 Ben Sargent
- 2011 Peter Fitzpatrick
- 2010 Joe Lore
- 2009 Darrell Leemhuis
- 2008 Rob Godfrey
- 2007 Zoltan Bodo from Ngunnawal, Australian Capital Territory, with a 1992 Holden VP series Senator;
- 2006 Aaron Fitzpatrick from Australian Capital Territory, with a gold 1969 Datsun 510 sedan.
- 2004 Drago Ostric
- 2003 Mark Course
- 2002 Peter Fitzpatrick
- 2001 Anthony Fabris
- 2000 Shane Burcher
- 1999 Peter Fitzpatrick
- 1998 Peter Fitzpatrick
- 1997 Howard Astill
- 1996 Peter Fitzpatrick
- 1995 Dennis Laing
- 1994 Brian Willis
- 1993 Peter Fitzpatrick
- 1992 Howard Astill
- 1991 Howard Astill
- 1990 Rob Beauchamp
- 1989 Rob Beauchamp
- 1988 Rob Beauchamp
The Grand Champion award was introduced at Summernats 6 - with Peter Fitzpatrick being the first recipient (the first of Peter's six Grand Champion awards). Prior to this the top award was; Top Street Machine Overall.
- 2005: Tanya Lazarou, from Sydney
- 2006: Bree Fenton, 19, from Sydney
- 2007: Jenelle Smith, 19, from Canberra
- 2012: Sabrina Damiano
- 2014: Danah Wheatley
- 2015: Monique Dognan-Smith
- 2016: Amanda Beattie
- 2017: Jazmyne Wardell
Show and Shine
The Summernats holds one of Australia's most prestigious Show and Shine events. Vehicles from around the nation use the Summernats to announce their arrival on the Australian scene. There are the following categories:
- Real Street, Street, Elite and Tuff Street
- Top 60 cars, Top 20 cars and Top 10 cars
- Top Judged Elite and Top Judged Street
In addition there are some awards that are highly coveted amongst the Australian vehicle modifying community:
- Master Craftsman
- High Impact
- Artistic Impression
- People's Choice
Custom Air brushing is also celebrated at the Summernats, where an exhibition occurs in the Meguiar's Pavilion.
- Summernats City Cruise
- Burnout Championship and Burnout Masters
- Grass Motorkahana
- Circle Work
- Heads-Up Go to Whoa
- Grab a Flag
- Best Cruiser
In this competition cars are strapped to a device that measures horsepower at the driven wheels. During the course of the Summernats many awards in different categories are handed out in the 'Dyno-cell' and power readings of over 2000hp at the wheels have been registered. 
Street cruises were stopped after the 2005 Summernats, following crowd control issues, however thanks to the support of the ACT Government and several years of exemplary crowd and entrant behaviour the City Cruise was re-introduced in 2014. The City Cruise is the first driving event at each Summernats and is limited to 300 entrant vehicles. 
However Summernats spokesman Chic Henry was quoted as saying "The situation could be compared to so many other situations in life where people may have been having a bit too much fun, maybe having a bit too much alcohol."
Sexual harassment of women
The festival has experienced frequent complaints and allegations of sexual harassment and other violence towards women by participants, including having a history of women being shouted at to 'take your top off', and men holding placards that read "tits out for the boys".
In 2008, a mob of up to 400 men was observed by journalists surrounding and harassing women, leading Australian Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick to comment that such conduct fosters an environment that may lead to rape. Security staff were described as "powerless" to stop the mob, although event organiser Chic Henry stated that he was happy with the performance of security.
In 2011, another mob was alleged to have occurred.
In 2017, Summernats announced its zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment. 
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- "SUMMERNATS ADOPTS ZERO-TOLERANCE APPROACH TO SEXUAL HARASSMENT". StreetMachine.com.au. Retrieved 2017-05-04.
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