Palmerston North City Council Head of Events and Partnerships Tasha Paladin says the party will begin at 6pm on Thursday 31 December in Te Marae o Hine – The Square.
The public festivities, scheduled to wind up at 12.30am on Friday 1 January 2021, will feature a 15-piece band, Captain Festus McBoyle and his motley crew of pirates, Highly Flammable’s creative entertainers, DJ FK1, some singing and lots of fireworks.
“In fact, there’ll be two lots of fireworks – a small show at 9.30pm for families, with a larger show at midnight as we click over into 2021,” Paladin says.
There will be singers, dancers, circus act training, and mirror and LED men who will do roving performances for the benefit of the young families and their children attending the first half of the event.
There will also be a DJ dance set throughout the night with suitable music to accompany the fireworks and multiple projections happening within Te Marae o Hine – The Square. Amy Hunt will curate and produce two 20-minute music sets for the very young and the pre-teen audience.
The children’s entertainment will culminate in a ‘Kids' Countdown’ at 9.30pm followed by a display of fireworks.
The event will also source the best singers from the Open Mic programme and feature up-and-coming young performers to serenade the crowd. The organisers have reached out to schools in the region and through Facebook to get the crème de la crème of young solo acts.
Towards the end of the evening, the 15-piece band will deliver a high-energy funk and rock experience with music from Debbie Harry, Chaka Khan, Lionel Richie, David Bowie, Joe Cocker, Santana, Glenn Frey, Prince and other well-known international artists. The band includes some of the region’s finest musicians, vocalists and dancers.
New Year’s Eve in the Square 2020 is funded by the Palmerston North City Council with grant assistance from the Central Energy Trust. It is a free event, open to all, and the hope is that it will build on last year’s record attendance.
The event organiser, Tony McLaughlin, of Performance Consulting, is promising an impressive stage, sound and lighting rig. Local supplier Audio Progress will deliver sound and lighting production and Performance events will provide audio-visual services. Brodie Noon from MDR Sound and Lighting is donating $3000 worth of additional lighting for the event.
Marketing and Communications General Manager Sacha Haskell says with the city set to celebrate its 150th next year, it’s fitting we welcome 2021 in style.
“Our community has together faced the trials of 2020 and shown New Zealand the strength of Palmy as a regional city, leading economic and growth statistics. We will build on this further in 2021, as we celebrate where we’ve come from, who we are now, and our exponential potential.”