Wallerawang’s Linda Cluff has spent the last few New Year’s Eves away from home, and everywhere she travelled people were in party mode, keen to ring in the upcoming year with plenty of fun and festivities – and of course fireworks.
So, back in February, when Ms Cluff realised she would be home to welcome in 2018, the businesswoman began to contemplate how to orchestrate a local celebration.
“I have enjoyed many New Year’s with fireworks away from home,” Ms Cluff said. “And I thought to myself ‘why don’t we have something like that here’ because there’s no New Year’s Eve events with fireworks between Penrith and Bathurst.
“So, I approached Howard & Sons Pyrotechnics to see if it was feasible to put something together for the people of this area from Wallerawang, Portland and Lithgow.
“And, turns out it was.”
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Ms Cluff recruited some helpers to begin fundraising and organising for the inaugural New Years Eve Pyrotechnical Event.
“Ros Francis from the Wallerawang Lidsdale Progress Association, Greg Tilley, Sam Bodnar and local Councillor Joe Smith make up our merry band who are pulling this event together,” Ms Cluff said.
The celebration will be held on the shores of Lake Wallace at Wallerawang on Sunday, December 31.
“We have the perfect location by the lake,” she said. “It will be a day which everyone can enjoy – an all round community event. And we have worked really hard to make it a free event, people will only have to pay for their food.”
It will be an afternoon and evening of fun for the kids, musical entertainment by local duo Momentum and market stalls for everyone to browse through. Youngsters will love the jumping castle, rock climbing wall, bungee jumping, merry-go-round, face painting, games, snow cones and fairy floss.
Revellers can bring a picnic dinner to enjoy by the lake, or tuck into some delicious fare from the Wallerawang Baseball Club's barbecue or Big Daddy Pizzas and sip on coffee by Salud.
People can paddle in a Dragon Boat or simply sit and listen to the music and appreciate the scenery. There is new seating along the lake’s foreshores or you can bring your fishing rod and dangle a line.
The family-friendly alcohol and drug free event begins at 4.30pm and will go off with a bang when fireworks light up the sky at 9pm.
“It has taken a lot of work to get this up and running but everyone has been very supportive,” Ms Cluff said. “The generosity just kept coming. Energy Australia is the major sponsor, but Centennial Coal, Lithgow City Council and so many other businesses have joined together to make this happen.”