NYE @ BIRALLEE PARK: From here on, it's about saying yes

FOR ALBURY grandmother Leonie O’Haire, the new year is about always saying yes.

“I don’t say no to anything any more. You don’t know what’s around the corner really,” Mrs O’Haire said.

Mrs O’Haire, 68, was the first grandmother up to dance to Cotton Eye Joe on the grass of Bira­llee Park at the Wodonga Family Fireworks Spectacular last night.

There was the razzle and dazzle of fireworks and show rides, and little face-painted lions, tigers and bears scampered in between parents sprawled on blankets across the oval as 6000 Border people saw in the new year.

They were families who dreamed of new houses, caravan holidays and, in the words of Mrs O’Haire, “new beginnings”.

Wodonga husband-and-wife Josh and Morgan Hick, aged 31 and 26, with their children Torah, 3, and Isla, 1, said they want to use their new caravan.

“We want to travel,” Mrs Hick said.

Emily Laracy, 13, of Barnawartha, was with Wodonga friends, Mairead McLinden, Zoe Steel and Abbey Wenselowski.

The girls wanted to “start afresh” and keep fit this year.

Lavington couple Sherwin and Carlie Smith, aged 25, with daughter Emelie, 2, and Elijah, six months, said their religion was their priority for the new year.

“Honestly, to serve God and enjoy raising our young family,” Mrs Smith said.

Mrs O’Haire briefly stopped dancing with her granddaughter to talk, the music having moved from Cotton Eye Joe to the Macarena.

She said her husband, Victor O’Haire, had died three years ago.

“I’ve found since my husband died it’s a new beginning and I’ve got to be positive,” she said.

“You’ve got to live your life.”

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