TAMWORTH might be able to host a hell of a country music festival, but it appears to fail miserably when it comes to ushering in the new year.
Residents have taken to social media in droves to express their dismay at the lack of family-friendly community events offered on New Year’s Eve. Apart from frequenting one of the city’s numerous pubs and clubs, or hosting a house party with friends and family, options seemed severely limited.
Many people writing on The Leader’s Facebook page yesterday called on Tamworth Regional Council to take charge and reinvigorate the day.
Louise Waters said is was “plain and simple” that Tamworth “has nothing to offer on New Year’s Eve”, while Leanne Cochrane-Stephens described the scene as “pretty sad”.
Leanne Lawrence said Tamworth should follow Armidale’s lead and hold a public fireworks display that would appeal to the whole community.
But Leanie Renton said she thought that money could be better spent on paying some top local artists to perform at a free concert in Bicentennial Park.
“This would support the local economy while providing a family-friendly event,” she said.
“Fireworks are not necessary. Kids get a kick out of other fun things like glowsticks and sparklers.”
Tamworth woman Joy Duffy said there was little in the way of entertainment for people up to the age of 18 and suggested an under-age disco.
“The venue is secure and safe to allow parents to go out for dinner etcetera, or even have a sectioned off place for parents to connect and dine together.”
Managing editor of Country Music Capital News Cheryl Byrnes said it was “unfortunate” that a perfect chance to foster community spirit was being wasted.
“I think some sort of family activity where everybody can get together for a period of time would be great,” she said.
“It doesn’t have to be fireworks that cost a lot of money, it could be that families take their picnics down to Bicentennial Park where there’s a movie on.”
Tamworth councillor Warren Woodley said the council had traditionally focused its money and resources on the Country Music Festival and Australia Day celebrations.
However, he said both he and the council were always keen to receive feedback from residents.
“We’re always happy to hear suggestions, particularly if it’s fostering goodwill and happiness for families, young people and old people – that’s what country life is all about,” he said.