File photo of a New Year's Eve street dance party at Byron Bay.
File photo of a New Year's Eve street dance party at Byron Bay. The Northern Star Archives

Plan to bring back community soul for Byron New Year’s Eve

BRINGING the soul of the community back into Byron Bay this New Year's Eve is the goal of a new community plan to be voted on by Byron Shire Council next week.

Closing Jonson Street to traffic and renaming it "Soul Street" for the evening and promoting a "Safe Summer in the Bay" brand are among the recommendations from the Community Summer Safety and Cultural Activities Committee to go before the council at its next ordinary meeting.

The plans are designed to "reclaim" Byron Bay for families, Byron Shire Mayor, Simon Richardson said.

"New Year's Eve can really set the tone for the year ahead, so this is a way of setting the tone of joy and creativity," he said.

Under the local-friendly NYE proposal, residents and workers will be offered free entry stickers into town, but visitors will be charged $20, while a park- and-ride scheme will also cost $30 per ticket.

While the Falls Festival at Yelgun will attract many party-goers to camp out of Byron Bay for the night, families will be encouraged to return to the town with activities for all ages planned.

"It's going to be wonderful and so different from other years," Youth event co-ordinator, Nicqui Yadzi said.

"This is about bringing things back to local families," she said.

The council will also vote next week on how to pay for the NYE activities with $45,500 budgeted for toilets, waste management, extra lighting and extra lifesaving services at Main Beach and $25,000 cash and in-kind support offered by the Falls Festival.

However, there is the matter of a $70,000 shortfall to cover traffic management plans, which will include a park-and-ride system operating from the sports complex on Ewingsdale Rd until 2am

A funding committee has already formed and the council will also seek State Government funding, Cr Richardson said.

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