FAMILIES and friends, locals and tourists alike, were in place early on Sunday night to snag prime positions along the Airlie Beach foreshore and witness the bringing in of 2018.
With two shows, the first kicking off at 9pm and the last smack-bang at midnight the family-friendly event did not disappoint.
The spectacle was put on by the Whitsunday Reef Festival and Whitsunday Regional Council with the support of local businesses through contractors Ground Zero Fireworks.
Reef Festival chairwoman Margo Murphy said the event went really well and she saw hundreds of people down at the foreshore enjoying the atmosphere.
“There was $11,000 worth of fireworks, collected through sponsorship, but the contractors are very supportive of Airlie Beach and always give us a good show for our money,” she said.
“Town was pumping and all businesses benefited from the extra visitors.
“It’s important to have a family-friendly event for NYE as well as deliver on tourists’ expectations.”
Ms Murphy said it was a great start to the year and extended thanks to the contractors, Whitsunday Regional Council, all the business sponsors and the people on the night buying the glow products to support the Reef Festival.
“Without the support of local businesses, things like this wouldn’t go ahead,” she said.
“We look forward to what the new year brings and celebrations for Reef Festival the first weekend of August.”
The positive vibe was echoed by Whitsunday Police’s Acting Sergeant Jason Colley who gave Airlie Beach an A+ report card for behaviour over the festive season as most had a safe night revelling at the night-life hotspot.
“There was a definite improvement on last year, we were expecting a lot worse,” he said.
Source: Whitsunday Times