New Year's no more

Published on 23 November 2021

New Years Eve event cancelled

The cancellation of Oamaru’s New Year’s Eve Party at the Gardens is not a big surprise, but disappointing just the same.

Oamaru’s ‘New Year’s Eve – Party at the Gardens’ event, which was optimistically scheduled to celebrate the end of 2021, has been cancelled.

Mayor for Waitaki Gary Kircher said "It's disappointing that we've had to make the decision to cancel this year's New Year's Eve event. We wanted to make sure we made the call as late as possible, to see what the Covid traffic light system might allow us to do, but there's too much uncertainty and cost involved to carry on past this point. 

It is particularly disappointing given that this is an event aimed primarily at giving free entertainment to families. Fingers crossed we are in a much better position in the next twelve months!"

With the entertainment line-up including local band Dee May and the Saints and Christchurch’s Diamond Blue and Dunedin band The Beat Skips, the new venue in the Oamaru Public Gardens promised a relaxed, family friendly ‘picnic in the park’ vibe to say goodbye to what has been a challenging year for much of the community.

The difficulties with enforcing vaccine passes for an un-ticketed community event in an open space, plus the prospect of COVID in the community by then, meant going ahead would be too high risk.

Musicians, tradies, food vendors and volunteers booked for the event have been informed. Council’s Events Coordinator Hayley Cusiel said “everyone has been really understanding and we are looking forward to hopefully bringing events back in 2022, bigger and better.”

The Light Up the Tree public event planned for the 3rd of December has also been cancelled, replaced with a ceremonial switching on of the town Christmas tree lights by the Mayor and main sponsor, Network Waitaki, which will be livestreamed on Facebook.

The next big event in the Council calendar is the Friendly Bay Family Fun Day in March 2022.