No Octagon festivities these holidays

New Years Eve fireworks in the Octagon last year. PHOTO: CHRISTINE O'CONNOR
New Years Eve fireworks in the Octagon last year. PHOTO: CHRISTINE O'CONNOR
Ongoing Covid-19 restrictions mean it will be a quieter Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Dunedin.

The annual New Year’s Eve celebration in the Octagon has been cancelled, and the lighting of the Octagon Christmas tree has been moved online.

Dunedin City Council community services general manager Simon Pickford said Covid-19 restrictions meant large public events in the Octagon were sadly not possible this year.

"Cancellation of the New Year’s Eve event will be disappointing for many regular revellers, if not unexpected," Mr Pickford said.

The council was still waiting for more details about large-scale outdoor events under the Government’s new traffic

light system.

However, without that clarity the call was made to cancel this year’s festivities.

Part of the council’s traffic management plan for New Year’s Eve would continue, as it was a busy evening for the area’s hospitality venues.

The lower Octagon will therefore be closed to vehicles from early on December 31 until January 1, 2022.

Instead of the public tree lighting, council staff are creating a short video to be released on December 9 to mark the occasion.

"With children and their parents as the main audience for the tree lighting, we hope the video will bring a little bit of Christmas into households to delight our youngest residents."

Work to install the tree begins on Saturday.

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