Port Adelaide is an historic area which was central to the colonisation of South Australia dating right back to its inception in 1836 when Colonel William Light first sailed up the Port River. Port Adelaide has been the gateway to trade and commerce in South Australia and the first contact with South Australia for thousands of emigrants when they arrived by ship.

BOATFEST aims to return the sense of pride in the community by bringing back elements of its proud history, celebrate its maritime heritage and encourage people to revisit. The proposed combination and collaboration of Wooden and Heritage Boat displays, parades and competitions with art exhibitions, community projects, water sport competitions (dragonboats, surf lifesaving boats, sailing events and fun events), engagement with the historic precincts and museums, the creation of a seafood celebration, entertainment, free kids activities and the creation of a history and heritage trail across land and water all make for an incredible, informative and fun experience for visitors to this largely free public event. 

Existing wooden and heritage boat events across Australia focus largely on that element alone and attract an enthusiastic and targeted demographic. This will be a major feature of the proposed event in Port Adelaide, BOATFEST is also planned to broaden the attraction to a much wider family demographic to introduce or remind them of Port Adelaide; its history, its heritage and its future.