Mooloolaba NYE celebrations fizzle as popular event canned
New Year's Eve celebrations on the Coast will be unrecognisable this year after a "difficult" decision was made to cancel Mooloolaba's annual fireworks event.
Sunshine Coast Council made the announcement on Friday, citing community safety concerns during the pandemic as its reason to cancel the display.
Although the much-loved community event is not going ahead, which normally attracts crowds of about 30,000 along the Mooloolaba Esplanade, Mayor Mark Jamieson said there was still an opportunity to reflect on the year gone by.
"When we celebrated New Year's Eve in Mooloolaba last year, nobody would have predicted what 2020 had in store for us all," he said.
"We've experienced many ups and downs this year, and it's unfortunate to cancel the New Year's Eve Mooloolaba event, but community safety must remain our highest priority.
"Our council is encouraging everyone to enjoy a quieter, COVID safe, New Year's Eve this year, either at home with family and friends or at a restaurant or venue in your local community."
Division 4 Councillor Joe Natoli said Mooloolaba hospitality venues would still be open and welcoming in the New Year.
"While we can't celebrate New Year's Eve in our usual Mooloolaba style this year, many of our wonderful restaurants and venues will still be open, so if you're planning to head out on New Year's Eve, I encourage you to book early and support our local businesses," he said.
Council is currently seeking advice from Queensland Health in relation to possible opportunities for dispersed fireworks displays at coastal locations, noting that community-run New Year's Eve events in Caloundra and Coolum have also been cancelled.
Further announcements will be made in coming weeks.