BATHURST will farewell 2020 with a whimper, not a bang, following the formal cancellation of this year's Party In The Park and the fireworks display.
It will be the second year running the fireworks have been cancelled after Bathurst Regional Council abandoned them last year due to serious water shortages across the region and devastating bushfires across the state.
However, with a dramatic easing of conditions this year and the ongoing relaxation of COVID-19 measures that have restricted public gatherings, there were high hopes that the fireworks could return to allow the Bathurst community to send 2020 packing.
Mayor Bobby Bourke was among those pushing for the Party in the Park to go ahead but he confirmed that with just four weeks to go until New Year's Eve, council had finally had to concede defeat.
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"There are still COVID-19 restrictions on a mass crowd and we get up 10,000 people at the adventure playground for the Party in the Park," Cr Bourke said.
"We won't be able to have that many this year so council has had to make decision because all the organisations and contractors have to be given enough notification to make their plans.
"We have waited until the last few days to take as much time as we could to make a decision but we've decided it won't go ahead."
Cr Bourke said council was looking at other options for New Year's Eve.
There has been $60,000 put aside in this year's budget for the Party in the Park which could yet fund some sort of celebration.
"We're looking at other possibilities where we can aim for a crowd around the 3000 mark," he said.
"We will look at getting some entertainment and see what we can pull together."
In the meantime, Cr Bourke is encouraging residents to shop local as they spend up big leading into Christmas.
He said Bathurst businesses had endured a tough year and needed help.
"I would encourage everyone to 'adopt a shop' in town, whether it's one of the bigger shops in town or even your corner store," he said.
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