New Year's Eve in the Octagon

Dunedin's octagon will be the center of New Year celebrations.
Dunedin's octagon will be the center of New Year celebrations.

Dunedin has enjoyed New Year's Eve celebrations in the central city since 1999 when it was the first city in the world to celebrate the arrival of the new millennium.

Every year thousands of people and visitors converge in the Octagon for a night of live entertainment, fun and fireworks. Dunedin is one of the remaining major centres still developing its public celebrations; the Dunedin event attracts a mix of people ranging from parents with very young children to senior citizens. "Tick", the grand old Municipal Chambers clock, will herald the arrival of midnight before a spectacular fireworks display from the Civic Centre.

This year, organisers have opted for three bands to entertain partying residents and visitors. Opening the celebrations will be popular three-piece Oxo Cubans offering up modern jazz. Following on is popular local band Bluestone, playing blues. The final act is Argus, which will entertain the crowds with classic rock covers.

Food stalls will be set up in the Octagon carriageway from around 5.30pm offering burgers, waffles, ethnic food, hot dogs and chips plus more.
The Lower Octagon will close to traffic at 7am on New Year's Eve and will remain closed until approximately 3pm on New Year's Day for set-up and dismantling of staging. The remainder of the Octagon will close at 3pm on New Year's Eve and will reopen in the early hours of January.
A strictly enforced liquor ban and consistently safe and entertaining evening have nurtured the event for many years, while the spectacular fireworks display guarantees a finale worth waiting for. The liquor ban means that while people can enjoy a tipple at a bar, restaurant or cafe, they must

leave drinks behind if leaving these premises. There are exceptions for the cordoned-off areas around individual bars. Flush toilet units will be set up on the corner of Princes St and the Octagon.

A police contingent will directly patrol the area with assistance from a security team, plus added security at the various licensed premises to provide advice and help if needed.

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