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Let’s make the next New Year’s Eve an event for everyone

By Kim Fischer - 6 January 2018 25

Canberra’s midnight fireworks display. Photo: Joanne Blake.

Why don’t we expand New Year’s Eve fireworks celebrations beyond Civic? The Civic events can be daunting for families with younger children, the elderly, and those who are less mobile. Fighting through crowds to try to get a reasonable vantage point while keeping track of all your offspring is tricky at the best of times. Some people take significant risks to get a better spot, such as the families who parked on the median strip of Parkes Way. Getting home afterwards can also be gruelling.

Suburbs in other capital cities already hold their own local events to ring in the New Year. Lake Ginninderra and Lake Tuggeranong would be fabulous facilities to have relaxed, community-focused events that could be less stressful for families who want to picnic on the shores. Having a 9 pm fireworks display at our local lakes would be a boon to those who would prefer to not battle traffic and negotiate the crush of crowds.

Canberra’s population has doubled in the last 40 years. Our city is well and truly big enough to support multiple events. In Belconnen particularly, the high-rise apartment buildings house a significant local population and provide an ideal vantage point to enjoy lake fireworks for those without the capability or inclination to attend the Civic celebration.

Having local events promote community spirit and can provide a significant boost for local businesses. The Government should work with the local art centres to fund family-friendly New Year’s Eve events that celebrate the past year and encourage reflection towards the future.

This doesn’t have to be exclusive to New Year’s Eve, of course. Fireworks make any event memorable for children, and they could be included in nearly any part of the year’s celebratory calendar. Australia Day, Queen’s Birthday, Reconciliation Day, Canberra Day – all great potential candidates for local events instead of or in addition to city spectaculars.

What do you think? Is it time to move our public holiday celebrations to the regions? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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25 Responses to
Let’s make the next New Year’s Eve an event for everyone
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Gail Langendorf 2:21 pm 08 Jan 18

OK - as long as civic still counts as a region?? I mean there are humans that live here too!! But if you intend that all of us in the central areas will have to go to Tuggeranong or Gungahlin to see NYE, then I am not amenable to this change! All in all the silly season was lame in civic this year!

AbbDon Helen 10:11 pm 07 Jan 18

No .. this brings life to the city ... it is inclusive ... love walking around smiling and chatting to people from all over Canberra who come “to town” for this event ... there is far too much decentralisation which just waters down the concept of celebration

Capital Retro 7:15 am 07 Jan 18

Fireworks have become boring and polluting not to mention the cost which adds to the money ratepayers are already committed to thanks to the trolley folly and other pet projects.

Barry Maher 7:13 am 07 Jan 18

Hear Hear!

Steven Cooper 9:21 pm 06 Jan 18

Glebe Park thing was dreadful... I liked those kids concerts too

    Robert Warn 12:56 am 07 Jan 18

    Yes. V weak. And Cbr lost its traditional Xmas tree in Civic Square. Poor show. One could drive through the city ctre and not know it was Xmas. Pathetic. Other cities o'seas decorate the city streets. Would be a better use of $$s than a N Yrs Eve fireworks show. And non polluting!

    Steven Cooper 6:58 am 07 Jan 18

    Robert Warn yes I’m sure they wasted a lot of money on the Tram etc... I mean seriously no Christmas Tree 🤔

King Ballbags 9:08 pm 06 Jan 18

Yep sounds good but get rid of that Christmas in Glebe park it was an embarrassment and bring back the children’s concert

Riley Gibson 7:48 pm 06 Jan 18

I would definitely take the kids to the event if it was outside of the city. Parking is a nightmare and it's $80 to get home if you have a few beers. Not worth it

Gil Maher 5:41 pm 06 Jan 18

Seem one fireworks display seen them all. How about we bring back flying homemade airplanes into the lake.

Rachel Crawford 4:35 pm 06 Jan 18

How about we get rid of fireworks completely? They are a huge expense for just a moment of satisfaction and let’s face it, they are never as good as people hope. They leave a big mess to clean up, shut down roads, frighten animals and put a huge strain on services such as the RSPCA. It could be celebrated in so many other ways - bands, a light show, etc.

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