Sparkling night of family entertainment

LAST year the first McCormack Barber Party Under the Stars went off with a bang and received overwhelmingly positive feedback from revellers.

Organisers of tonight’s celebrations will have the hard task of following in the footsteps of their strong first effort, but it appears they are on track make the party even better.

Last year’s event copped some criticism for traffic delays caused when the 6000-strong crowd attempted to leave at the end of the night.

This year, organisers have gone out of their way to ensure the problems are not repeated, providing extra traffic lanes and increasing the promotion of the bus service.

They have also vowed to beef up security to cope with the large crowds and ensure everyone has a safe night out.

Orange should be proud to boast such a popular family-orientated event when other areas still revel in alcohol-soaked, adult-orientated new year’s celebrations.

There is no doubt thousands of people across Australia will, as always, use New Year’s Eve as an excuse to overindulge on alcohol when they wrap-up their festive season celebrations with family and friends.

But the success of last year’s alcohol-free party proved that alcohol is not an essential element of a fun night out which has to send a good message to impressionable children.

Australians tout themselves as a nation of drinkers and party people, but really New Year’s Eve should be about spending time with friends and family reflecting on the highs and lows of the year that was and looking forward to the next.

Thanks to the co-operation and contribution of Orange City Council and a list of corporate sponsors Orange has established its own, less elaborate but still entertaining, take on the Sydney Harbour’s fireworks display which could become a long-running tradition.

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