Fireworks earn their keep

FIREWORKS on New Year’s Eve at Birallee Park in Wodonga are assured for the next two years.

After almost 5000 people attended the family spectacular on Monday night, Wodonga Raiders general manager Greg Dawson said the event was cemented in for the next two years.

The football club charged $10 entry in last year, but allowed free entry on Monday.

“It was a test case for us,” Mr Dawson said.

“Could we move money out of it and still attract people?

“They just gave up counting in the end but we’re estimating there was close to 5000 people there.”

A year ago, the event returned a profit of $2000 and Mr Dawson said it just wasn’t worth the effort the club volunteers had put into the night.

Mr Dawson said they were still finalising their cash count for Monday night but aim for $5000 in profit from the amusement park rides and food sales.

“If we made $5000 on the night, we’re more than happy,” he said.

Wodonga Council will continue to support the event.

Mr Dawson said the council had given the club $10,000 this year and had promised $9000 next time and $8000 the year after.

He said the funding would then cease that with the expectation the club would get sponsorship from organisations such as McDonald’s, who gave $4000 this time.

Mr Dawson said the Raiders had started the event to fill a void after SS&A Club cancelled its event at the golf club.

“We’re really just about making something for the Wodonga community,” he said.

Her said the night had drawn visitors to Wodonga for the Christmas and New Year period.

Melbourne couple Sue and Graham McDonald were visiting friends.

They were walking their dogs past Birallee Park early yesterday after being impressed with the night.

“It was fabulous,” Mrs McDonald said.

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