New Year fireworks, performances cancelled

The new year begins with pyrotechnics in Queenstown. Photo: Paul Taylor
Photo: Paul Taylor
For the first time since at least the late 1980s, there will be no fireworks display to ring in the new year in Queenstown.

Queenstown Lakes District Council arts and events facilitator Jan Maxwell announced yesterday the traditional lakefront fireworks displays and music performances in Queenstown and Wanaka had been cancelled, due to the complexity of planning events under the Government’s traffic light system.

New Year’s Eve traditionally has been the busiest weekend of the year in Queenstown, attracting tens of thousands of revellers to Earnslaw Park to take in main stage performances before the midnight fireworks display over Lake Wakatipu.

Ms Maxwell said she was ‘‘gutted’’, but making the decision now gave certainty to suppliers, local businesses and the public, who had time to find other ways to celebrate with friends and family.

She encouraged people to ring in the new year at bars and restaurants in the Queenstown-Lakes area and support the district’s hospitality sector, ‘‘which has been doing it tough of late’’.

The council would continue to support police between December 29 and 31 by contributing ‘‘roaming security’’, while the presence of the Red Frogs would also support the safety and wellbeing of young adult revellers.

Additional toilet facilities would also be in place to support higher demand.

‘‘Our aim is to help keep people safe and ensure everyone enjoys a warm welcome as they see in 2022 in style.’’

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