Council joins party
MANY families were disappointed when Alstonville's popular New Year's Eve celebration was cancelled last year.
But now the party is back on.
The family-friendly event will be held once again at the Alstonville Showground.
One of the organisers, Richard Lutze from the Alstonville Apex Club, welcomed Ballina Shire Council's contribution of $15,000 - an increase from what was offered last year.
Mr Lutze said the extra money meant the financial risk to the Apex Club and the Alstonville Lions Club was significantly reduced.
"We can run a successful event," Mr Lutze said. "But it was always a balancing act between making money and losing money."
He said the first event in 2005 had an operational budget of $15,000 and the council chipped in $8000 out of money allocated for community-run New Year's Eve events.
But the operational budget blew out to $35,000 for the last event in 2011, and that put significant risk on the service clubs if bad weather meant the outdoor celebration didn't go ahead.
Mr Lutze said because it was a New Year's Eve event, entertainers asked for more money and ride operators wanted a guarantee of income. "That's just what happens on New Year's Eve," Mr Lutze said.
He said if the weather was fine, there was every chance the council's money wouldn't be needed.
The organisers did consider increasing entry fees to reduce the financial risks to the Lions and Apex clubs.
"But that's not what we're about," Mr Lutze said.
So this year, the entry will remain at $2 for adults.
The format will remain the same as previous years, with the fireworks at 9.30pm.