Teresa Hartley (left), Danielle Straatmans and Jill Quivooy enjoy the Oxford Street Party on Wednesday night, but they didn’t have many entertainment options last night.
Teresa Hartley (left), Danielle Straatmans and Jill Quivooy enjoy the Oxford Street Party on Wednesday night, but they didn’t have many entertainment options last night. Amy Formosa AF

Lack of celebrations in Rocky

YESTERDAY I received a phone call from a woman who wanted to know if there were going to be any fireworks in Rockhampton on New Year’s Eve.

When my response was “no”, the friendly woman asked if there were any events organised at the coast for the general public, and I provided much the same answer.

I told her that I’d written an opinion piece in Tuesday’s edition about the lack of entertainment options available on NYE aside from the Gangster and Glamour Ball (formerly B and S).

She said: “That’s disappointing, the ball isn’t much good to people my age. I live between Rockhampton and Sydney and I have my father up from Sydney. There’s nothing to sell the region to tourists is there?”

Well actually, we do have this beautiful Rockhampton riverbank and adjacent Quay Street (which has been closed for entertainment purposes in the past) and we also have the lovely Yeppoon foreshore.

Unfortunately, when it comes to visionaries, Rockhampton is either way behind the 8-ball when you make comparisons with Mackay and the Sunshine Coast, or local authorities believe money is better spent elsewhere.

On the Mackay Regional Council’s website yesterday, Mayor Col Meng was talking up their 5.30pm to midnight NYE celebration “Come and get Kissed” which, he said, would take the city’s party style to a complete new level.

“Mackay people are in worthy need of a high-energy celebration launch right here in the region, so this year we are doing exactly that,” Cr Meng said.

“We have designed this family-safe night right here so there is no need for residents to venture elsewhere – we have the new and fantastic Bluewater Quay location and the ultimate party amenities to put on a great party for our region.”

The night was organised in two sections – an early show for the families and a later concert for the 18-plus audience.

From 5.30pm, Melbourne band The Jellybugs did two shows for the kids, followed by an early fireworks display.

Other events included Sensory Circus, the Solomon Island Bamboo Band, face painting and a jumping castle.

After 9pm for the adults there was local rock band The Formula and DJ Mikey Mike ramping up the energy before Kiss Thiss, Australia’s best Kiss tribute, hit the stage.

There were fancy-dress prizes for both genders.

Further south there was the Mooloolaba: Sunshine Coast Council NYE09 where gates opened at noon.

Attractions included Kate Miller-Heidke, The Black Sorrows, Lisa Hunt, beachside carnival, street acts, buskers and children’s entertainment.

To top that off, two fireworks displays (8.30pm and midnight) and there was no cost.

At Caloundra there was a sideshow alley, Humphrey B Bear, twilight movie and fireworks.

At Noosa’s Stockland Park there was a fire-breathing dinosaur, motocross riders, flame-throwing jet, sideshow alley and fireworks.

While at Coolum, crowds enjoyed fireworks and celebrations in the village square.

Jealous? I am.

SMS your thoughts to 0408 309 261.



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