New year heralded by Tea Gardens Country Club fireworks

Newcastle band ‘Brightside’ delivered the live music for the night.

“BETTER than Sydney,” was the phrase many onlookers uttered at the Tea Gardens Country Club’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display at 9:30pm on 31 December.

The hot, humid weather before New Year’s had yielded to a cooling rain storm over the Hawks Nest/Tea Gardens townships earlier on, leaving the sky overcast and with a dark matte backdrop to perfectly contrast with the fireworks.

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Revellers enjoyed food from The Garden Eatery, drinks from the Country Club, and live music by Newcastle’s ‘Brightside’.

Starbursts and booming explosions enthralled all in a spectacle to rival the big cities’, with loud bangs preceding the big rockets up, alongside screaming-mimis and twirling fizzlers, in what proved to be an orchestrated spectacle of pyrotechnic awesomeness.

“Our pyrotechnician, Lou Stefanel, from Pyromania Pty Ltd, has been doing this for the Country Club for about 20 years,” Tea Gardens Country Club General Manager Warren Gooley told NOTA.

“This year we had 280 shells go up, and it was great to see so many families, we had a great crowd, everyone enjoyed a good time.”

Massive flowers of fire bloomed overhead, often lighting up the bowling green and the crowd below like day, while the Pindimar-Tea Gardens Rural Fire Service stood on the lookout for any errant flares or sparks below.

Thankfully, however, the conditions were perfect, as a gentle breeze blew the smoke away and out over the wetlands.

The ever-growing explosions overhead were exciting for many, and also cathartic for some, as the old year was quite blown away to welcome the new, in one of humanity’s biggest symbolic and collective ‘new beginnings’ events.

The customary song ‘Auld Lang Syne’, being originally from the Scots-language, is open to some interpretation: a call to remember times long past, or a reminder to move on and forget past problems altogether, or anything in between.

As families vacated to be home by bedtime and perhaps enjoy the televised, taxpayer-funded fireworks in Sydney, hopefully most woke up the next morning with a renewed interest in pursuing what makes them happiest.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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