New Year’s Eve party canned

Anticipated difficulties enforcing vaccine passes and the prospect of Covid-19 in the community have resulted in the cancellation of Oamaru’s official New Year’s Eve party.

Yesterday, Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher confirmed the council had cancelled its family-friendly "Party at the Gardens" event planned for December 31.

It was disappointing to have to cancel the community celebration, but there was too much risk involved, Mr Kircher said.

"We wanted to make sure we made the call as late as possible, to see what the Covid traffic light system might allow us to do, but there's too much uncertainty and cost involved to carry on past this point," he said.

"It is particularly disappointing given that this is an event aimed primarily at giving free entertainment to families. Fingers crossed we are in a much better position in the next 12 months."

Musicians, food vendors and volunteers had been informed and Waitaki District Council events co-ordinator Hayley Cusiel said everyone had been understanding.

"We are looking forward to hopefully bringing events back in 2022, bigger and better," Mrs Cusiel said.

The council’s "Light Up the Tree" event, planned for December 3, was also cancelled. Instead, there would be a ceremonial switching on of the town’s Christmas tree lights by Mr Kircher and Network Waitaki, which will be live-streamed on Facebook.


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