Wagga Wagga will enjoy a New Year’s Eve fireworks display again this year after the event was given the go-ahead by the city’s councillors at their Ordinary Meeting tonight.
The family-friendly event will return to the central business district at the Victory Memorial Gardens with one fireworks display at 9.30pm which will be the highlight of the evening.
Council will this year deliver the NYE celebration for the first time. This follows expressions of interest being sought twice from local businesses and organisations, however there was no further commitment to take on the 2019 event.
Council Director Community Janice Summerhayes said Council will now commit to delivering a NYE event within its $50,000 sponsorship, which Council had made available for any business or group willing to host an event.
Ms Summerhayes said Council has continually supported a NYE event in Wagga for the past six years since 2013 to the total value of $275,000.
“The two organisations which have delivered the event in the past six years have found the event too onerous, costly and demanding and therefore are unable to continue doing it,” Ms Summerhayes said.
“Council advertised for expressions of interest twice, and there was no interest from businesses or organisations to commit to this year’s event.
“Given that outcome, Council will use its $50,000 budget to deliver a scaled down event this year to meet community expectations for a fireworks display to celebrate New Year’s Eve. This will take place at 9.30pm.”
Ms Summerhayes said one of the biggest challenges to holding an event on NYE was securing available staff to work on one of the biggest social nights of the year.
“We understand people want to take leave and spend that time with family and friends,” Ms Summerhayes said.
Ms Summerhayes said to find that balance, the NYE event will be open to mobile food vans working in the gardens precinct and entertainment options will be discussed within the event budget.
“We’re encouraging people to come to the Victory Memorial Gardens with a picnic tea and spend time with their family and friends, or take advantage of the food vans operating there,” Ms Summerhayes said.
“After the fireworks there is the opportunity for revellers to remain in the CBD or visit other locations and venues to continue the celebration at local hotels, clubs and hospitality businesses, and young families will have the option to leave the area at a reasonable time as the fireworks will take place at 9.30pm.”