A dazzling laser display on sheets of water mist is set to replace fireworks as the centrepiece of Orange's New Year's Eve celebrations.
Organisers have proposed a 45-minute laser and water display at Wade Park for up to 2500 people as part of a family-friendly, alcohol-free, gold coin donation entry, spectacular from about 9pm on Thursday December 31.
The show would also be live streamed and culminate a night's entertainment with bands and activities streamed from around the Central West.
You definitely get more bang for your buck.Holly Manning, event organiser
There are also plans to connect with up to 500 local families in their lounge rooms via the Zoom online meeting platform.
Orange City Council this week approved $30,000 funding toward the event which has been proposed by the local arm of Kennards Hire.
It will use Manning PR to organise and promote the event.
Holly Manning said planning was in its early stages but this year's event, with COVID-19 restrictions, was seen as a first step in what would become a major annual celebration focussing on Orange. "We want to show Orange as the heart of the Central West," she said.
Mrs Manning said Kennards had indicated it was interesting in a laser show instead of fireworks for this year's NYE event.
"While it's more expensive you definitely get more bang for your buck. [It's] a 45-minute show instead of a six-minute show," she said.
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"It isn't as weather dependent, it's safer, more versatile, nicer for dogs who don't like fireworks, and better for the environment."
She said a Sydney-based laser company had been approached to produce the show.
Mrs Manning said they would seek extra funding from Central West businesses to fund the running of the laser event.
Kennards Hire regional manager Craig McMahon said while water was a key part of the show the amount used was minimal.
"They project the laser images onto a fine mist of water that catches the light, and lets the audience see what's happening. Each misting machine only uses five litres of water for the whole show, so it's sensible amount of water use," he said.
"We'll have to comply with whatever COVID-safe restrictions are in place by then, and that might keep crowd number down to, say 2500 people. We want to look at live streaming the event so others can enjoy the show."
This year's event is set to have an Indigenous theme.
Orange mayor Reg Kidd said it was an "important" event for the city. "I'm impressed that Kennards Hire has recognised the value of an event like this for the Orange community and has put up their hand to bring it together," he said.
Councillors backed the event at Tuesday night's meeting.
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