Beach fireworks set for New Year's Eve bash
AN impressive last-minute fundraising drive has seen Port Douglas and Palm Cove businesses dig deep to ensure the New Year will be seen in with the traditional spectacular fireworks displays.
Much-loved pyrotechnics at both townships have been in jeopardy, facing a funding shortfall as a result of businesses and tourism organisations being hard-hit by the economic downturn.
At Port Douglas, the chamber of commerce said recently it could host only a midnight show this year – the loss of the 8.30pm show meaning that many families with children would miss out.
And Tourism Palm Cove’s annual fireworks fundraiser was not as successful as previous years, resulting in the tourism body being far short of the $10,000 it needed.
However, in an impressive display of people power, one businessperson in each community has taken to the streets to make sure that people won’t be disappointed on this festive occasion.
At Palm Cove, Il Forno Pizzeria owner Natalee McNab went from business to business to collect money to "revive" the tradition, with Xplosive Art Fireworks cutting costs to make it possible.
"When I heard that this year’s New Year’s Eve would see the end of fireworks at Palm Cove I couldn’t believe it," she said.
"We couldn’t let the people down, so I started talking to the local businesses and they were more than happy to put in a little bit and make it happen."
Port Douglas Chamber of Commerce member Rhys Bawden decided to "do it for the kids", passing the hat around businesses and encouraging them to "give whatever they can".
He said that despite the tough year, there was an outstanding response and an extra $4000 was raised, enabling the two shows – at a total cost of about $12,000 – to go ahead.
On the street, Melbourne visitors Cheryl and John Greene were over the moon that their two children would be able to see the earlier fireworks display at Port Douglas.
"It’s fantastic that the local businesses have come together like that," Mrs Greene said.
Fireworks displays will take place at 9.30pm at the Palm Cove Jetty, and at 8.30pm and midnight at Market Park at Port Douglas.
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Bring it on: There'll be New Year's Eve fireworks at Palm Cove and an extra display at Port Douglas on Saturday night. Community pride made sure of that to the delight of parents and children.