Where you can still watch fireworks on NYE
It's the year that's claimed ANZAC Day, the Ekka and saw families ripped apart, but Queenslanders will tonight celebrate the end to an unprecedented year.
Partygoers are preparing to ring in 2021 watching smaller fireworks displays and supporting their local pubs and restaurants, which will see millions pumped into the recovering economy.
Following a year that saw a global pandemic result in border closures, families separated and businesses destroyed, the state is holding hope for a new year.
Entering the year after fires and drought, Australians then began panic buying masks and toilet paper as the virus gripped the nation for months with severe lockdowns and restrictions.
But while many of the major fireworks displays around the state were cancelled due to COVID-19, partygoers will still be able to celebrate at various Brisbane hot spots like South Bank, Eagle Street, and Howard Smith Wharves as hotels, clubs and bars brace for an influx of revellers.
Accommodation bookings were yesterday still surging with Queensland Hotel Association chief executive Bernie Hogan saying hotel NYE events remain popular.
"It's always a limited number and they have filled up very fast," he said.
"Everything you see from the very north of the state, whether people are at their local pub or a five-star hotel, it will be a socially distanced new years.
"People should get out and celebrate the fact Queensland has done so well this year and it is a chance for us to take a breath and count their blessings that we've got to this position because it's a good place to be.
"We're going to do it safely and it's a nice chance to reset and go hey we've got this done and lets bring on 2021."
Both Brisbane and Gold Coast city councils cancelled their firework shows, however several smaller displays will be available.
Skylighter Fireworks owner Nick Kozij said his business will set up over 30 displays around the state including Townsville, Daydream Island, the Whitsundays and Brisbane.
He said the displays, although not as big as last year, will help people celebrate the end to a "dumpster fire" of a year.
However he warned people should ensure they had tickets to avoid anyone being turned away, but the events would help the economy keep turning for businesses near displays.
"It shows the good work that Queenslanders have done - as long as it can be done safely, there's no reason not to say goodbye to this dumpster fire of a year," he said.
Police will be out in force to ensure crowds are managed with QPS saying a specific operation is being conducted across the Brisbane region.
"Several hundred police will be working across the region including specialist police from supporting commands," Acting Chief superintendent Chris Stream said.
"Possession of fireworks by unlicensed persons can incur a penalty - the penalty can be a fine of up to 400 penalty points, over $53,000 as at July 2020, or six months imprisonment."
With many traditions fading in 2020 Kylie Jegou and her young family have vowed to keep their New Year's Eve tradition alive at the Centenary Tavern in Middle Park.
"A friend of mine, we've been friends since we were 14 and she has two kids the same age as mine and we've been doing that for the last four years," Ms Jegou said.
"It's a pleasant night you get to spend it with old friends and the kids can spend it with their friends as well, they always have a balloon drop, it's one of those ones where you can sit around, have a drink and conversation with friends while they're entertained."
FIREWORKS SWAPPED FOR FIRE
The River City will be without major council fireworks to farewell 2020 but there will be plenty of spark to light the fuse into a banging new year in Brisbane.
It's a year we won't likely forget and Queenslanders will be turning out to make sure the last night is the same, with multiple spots around the city hosting innovative ways to bring in the new year.
With thousands now looking to fill their nights, riverside bar Will & Flow has vowed to bring the heat, with performers to literally play with fire while counting down.
Treasury Brisbane chief operating officer Kelvin Dodt said he was "thrilled" to help bring in the new year.
"Guests of our exclusive Moët & Chandon Fire & Ice NYE event will be treated to an evening of wonder and delight, from Hollywood lights on arrival, sizzling fire twirlers and ice angel entertainers, to special surprises on the hour from 8pm until the clock strikes 12."
WHERE TO WATCH FIREWORKS
Cairns - Cairns Esplanade and Palm Cove, 8.30pm and midnight
Townsville - The Strand, midnight
Moreton Bay - Redcliffe Markets, 5pm
Mackay - MECC, 6pm
Maroochydore - Waterfront Hotel, 9pm
Noosa - Noosa Boathouse & Noosa Marina, 9pm
Brisbane - Carina Leagues Club, 9pm, Regatta (Sold out)
Coolangatta - Kirra Groyne, Marine Pde, 9pm and midnight
Labrador - Harley Park, Marine Pde, 9pm
Molendinar - Silver Bridle Park, Southport Nerang Rd, 9pm (laser lights).
Murwillumbah - Murwillumbah Leagues Club, Dorothy St, 9pm and midnight
Paradise Point - Paradise Point Parklands, The Esplanade, 9pm
Robina - Robina Town Centre, Robina Town Centre Dr, 9pm
Originally published as Where you can still watch fireworks on NYE