Celebration back on track

CELEBRATION SAFE: After some uncertainty, organisers of Mount Gambier’s sixth annual New Year’s Eve celebrations have confirmed planning has begun for the 2014 event. Picture: BRETT KENNEDYAFTER fears it could fizzle out of Mount Gambier’s annual calendar, organisers have confirmed the community New Year’s Eve celebration will go ahead to ensure the city enters 2015 with a bang.

Having faced financial hardship in recent years, and with members of Mount Gambier Community Events Inc looking to stand down, a question mark was thrown over the annual drawcard.

However, committee member Maree Thompson yesterday confirmed that the event would go ahead with a meeting held to further solidify a program.

“It will be going ahead as normal and it’s great, it would have been really sad if it didn’t continue,” Ms Thompson said, admitting she originally intended to take a step back from the organisational role.

“The event has proven popular and it gives somewhere for families to go where there is plenty of entertainment, moderated alcohol and just a good atmosphere in general.

“It would have been a real pity to see it go, but we do need help now.”

Ms Thompson said several factors had led to the committee considering a price rise to ensure the event’s longevity.

“We’ve only barely been breaking even, so this year there is going to be a price rise but it’s going to be as low as possible,” she said.

“One of the problems we have is so many people come through the gates on concessions – which is great because they’re the people we’re aiming to get out to celebrate New Year – however it means they’re getting through the gate cheaper.”

Ms Thompson thanked past and continuous sponsors for their efforts in successfully keeping the event afloat, calling on the community to once again band together to produce the event.

“I don’t think a lot of people understand how it is paid for, we rely heavily on sponsorship,” she said.

“The gate takings are only really a top up, sponsorship is what gets across the line

“We don’t mind how big or small the donations, everything adds up

“To put things in perspective, our fireworks alone are over $10,000 and we couldn’t have the event without it.”

Ms Thompson said a majority of support came from South East businesses, also praising the Mount Gambier \and Grant District councils for their financial assistance and in-kind support.

While planning is underway, Ms Thompson encouraged interested residents to consider joining the committee to help make 2014 the best yet.

“We need to get people with new ideas, to keep things fresh.

“They don’t need to come to every single meeting or be heavily involved, but we want inspired people to breathe new life into this.”

Among the planned changes for 2014 will be a revert back to an all-local musical program.

“We tried something a little bit different last year and had a band from Adelaide, but our local acts have a following here and people will come out specifically to see them.”

For more information or to join the committee, contact Steve Toope on 0418 838 930.