Merimbula’s New year’s Eve celebrations at Ford Park promise to be bigger and better than ever with a great line up of local bands, food stalls, family entertainment and of course Red Frogs.
When an evening starts to go pear-shaped, bumping into a Red Frog can be a real lifesaver.
Local Red Frog organiser, Jeremy Fernando said: "The Arise team from Pambula Baptist Church are really looking forward to making their presence known at Ford Park as they did last year. They will be giving away bottles of water, red frogs and free hot dogs.
Red Frogs aim to reduce the incidences of violence, injury, vandalism and drunken behaviour by promoting better hydration and eating well when consuming alcohol.
"Look for the guys in the red hats and be sure to pay them well in hugs or high fives," Jeremy said.
What's happening at Ford Park
It’s the culmination of many months of hard work but Natalie Godward, of the Merimbula Chamber of Commerce, believes the New Year’s Eve celebrations at Ford Park are better than ever.
There’s a strong focus on a family-friendly party with plenty of family and children’s entertainment from 5pm and a jumping castle, face painter, magic acts and clowns.
The music, all from great local talent, starts early, with Lochie Marson.
Mrs Godward said: “ We encourage families to get to Ford Park from 5pm to make the most of the family entertainment.”
Starting at 6.30pm will be local live music act Ricky Bloomfield and his band. At 8pm Andy O’Donnell and the Figmentz will bring the house down with a few hours of fantastic entertainment, only to be interrupted for a great fireworks show at 9.30pm.
Mrs Godward said that the 9.30pm fireworks would be especially geared towards family enjoyment.
At the end of the night youth band from Lumen Christi Catholic College, Mondegreen will help everyone see in the New Year and there will be a further fireworks display at midnight.
“This year’s celebration will be called Power FM’s Fire in the Sky and will include a great line-up of local talent at Ford Park. “We’re very excited to be showcasing our local talent this year – visitors and locals alike will not be disappointed,” Mrs Godward said.
She asked that everyone supports the celebrations by making a gold coin donation.
“It’s a very expensive event to stage so we really need people to donate something to help us maintain this event that is enjoyed by locals and visitors,” Mrs Godward said.
She particularly thanked all the volunteers who help set up and clear the event, Bobbins for donating the semi-trailer for the stage and said that without council covering half the cost, and the support of local businesses, the event simply couldn’t take place.
This year’s event will see police presence in record numbers so locals and visitors can be assured not only a fun and entertaining New Year’s celebration, but a safe one as well.
Mrs Godward said: “We’re so lucky to have the Red Frogs there too. They do a great job.”
What to bring
There’s plenty of space so bring chairs, blankets and something warm to wear as it cools downs
Party-goers can picnic or buy food and soft drinks from the many stalls on the night. There will be no alcohol for sale but BYO is allowed although the area will be alcohol free from midnight.
If you have far to travel make sure you have a designated driver and don’t forget a gold coin for entry.
If you prefer to be inside, local clubs and pubs will also be holding special events to celebrate the New Year.
And have a great night!