It's party time

THE countdown is on for the third annual McCormack Barber Party Under the Stars on New Year’s Eve.

For just a gold coin donation families will be treated to four and half hours of live music from four music acts as well as the all-important fireworks display at 9pm.

As the rivalry between Bathurst and Orange’s New Year’s celebrations heats up again, organiser Kyle Manning promises Orange will come out on top by sticking with the winning formula of last year’s event at the Waratah Sportsground.

“We’ve got another wonderful fireworks display planned to rival the first two years,” he said.

“It’s unrivalled west of the mountains. We’ve also got great live music, jumping castles and kids’ rides and plenty of food available.”

The alcohol-free, family-friendly event will feature music from jazz-inspired band the Groove Alternative, husband and wife acoustic duo Pat and Kellie O’Donnell, Mr Manning’s group Elephant Gerald and X-Factor participants PreDestined, featuring siblings Tjnara, Atahlia and Jacob Sutherland.

The parking and traffic problems that marred the first Party Under the Stars were ironed out for last year’s event, Mr Manning said, with the sportsground having ample parking for the 5000-strong crowd expected on the night.

“We’re very proud of the fact we’ve had zero incidents in the last few years,” he said.

“We’ve worked closely with police and we have an ambulance and St John’s Ambulance on standby.”

Mr Manning said the early 5pm start and 9:30pm finish gave revelers “the best of both worlds,” allowing them to go out afterwards to see in the new year.

Families are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner, but food, drinks and ice cream will also be available from the Lions Club barbecue, Pizza Capers and other vendors.

All proceeds from the event will go towards the purchase of an anaesthetic simulator for the Orange Health Service worth $7500.

“We always try to support the Orange Health Service because we figure it’s an organisation we all may need to use,” Mr Manning said.

The event is made possible thanks to major sponsor McCormack Barber funding the fireworks, in-kind support from MacHire and Kennards Hire, donations from John Davis Motors and Pigot Miller Wilson, and a $30,000 contribution from Orange City Council.

“I came up last year and I loved it,” Pigot Miller Wilson’s Dan Miller said.

“It’s nice to be a part of it, it’s a good family afternoon and night.”

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