Party drags them in from all over

(From left) Nick Toalster, Travis Ryan, Ryan Deveam, Benjamin Williams and Rikki Borg.
(From left) Nick Toalster, Travis Ryan, Ryan Deveam, Benjamin Williams and Rikki Borg. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

TROPICAL Fruits led the New Year's Eve celebrations in Lismore on Saturday night, living up to its reputation as regional Australia's premier dance party.

Partygoers travelled from all over the country to join in.

Golde Bagel-Banger made the journey from Perth, catching a train to Adelaide then driving through to Lismore.

"I came out especially for Tropical Fruits," he said.

"I stopped in Broken Hill and stayed in the hotel from Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (the movie), which was fabulous by the way. They had a Priscilla suite but no, I didn't stay there - I'm on a budget, honey.

"It's my first Tropical Fruits, I'm a virgin so to speak, but I'm going to lose my mango tonight."

More than 5000 people danced 2011 to a standstill before a huge fireworks display heralded in 2012.

Event co-ordinator Shane Duniam said the event's popularity was as strong as ever, with ticket sales up on last year.

Art Space co-ordinator Neil McKellar said the dance party was fast becoming a festival rather than just a dance party, with art installations, stage performances and cabaret shows added to the bill.

The first of the performances kicked off at about 9.30pm with Sydney burlesque performer Mathew the Libidinous.

"I came out last year and helped the radical fairies volunteering and was inspired to come back and perform," he said.

"The crowd is amazing. I love it here. I come all the way up specifically because it's simply the most beautiful party I've ever been to - everybody's so helpful and friendly and open and they make you dress up."

The police presence was strong early in the evening, with the police dog squad making regular sweeps of the site.

Multiple body searches caused some consternation among revellers but no arrests were made.

Richmond Local Area Command Inspector Nicole Bruce said the crowd was well behaved and there had been no incidents.

"We have a lot of police on tonight and we're hoping everyone behaves themselves and there's no antisocial behaviour.

"We have a sniffer dog and one general purpose dog - one for drug detection and one for crowd control.

Topics:  dance party tropical fruits

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