IT'S that time of the year again - polish your baubles and untangle your tinsel - the Countdown to Christmas street parade and tree lighting is on Thursday, November 28.
This year, because of intense bushfire activity across the region, there will be no fireworks.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, and local sponsor of the Countdown to Christmas fireworks Infrabuild, have made the decision to not proceed with the fireworks at this year's celebrations in Port Macquarie
The Countdown to Christmas fireworks will not go ahead for community safety reasons, with the risks related to bushfires still very much a concern across the region.
We know the fireworks are extremely popular, however even without them, our Countdown to Christmas celebration event will remain a community favourite.Jeff Sharp
Council director Jeffery Sharp acknowledged feedback from the community in making this decision.
"We know the fireworks are extremely popular, however even without them, our Countdown to Christmas celebration event will remain a community favourite and attract thousands of locals and visitors," Mr Sharp said.
"While this has been a challenging period for our community, it is so important that we continue to come together and connect, and we look forward to seeing a great turnout at Countdown to Christmas again this year."
Infrabuild's Port Macquarie branch manager Greg Boath said the fireworks sponsorship contribution will be donated to local Rural Fire Service brigades to support their ongoing efforts and recognise all their hard work across the community.
"We've been proud to sponsor the fireworks in recent years as a way of giving back to the community at what is a great family event," said Mr Boath.
"It is so great that we can support those who protect our community, and hope that everyone will still come along, enjoy a great Christmas parade, concert and lighting of the tree."
At its December meeting, council will make a decision on whether to proceed with the New Year's Eve fireworks.
The festivities will kick off with the popular Mascot Race down Horton Street at 5.30pm Thursday where you can cheer on your favourite mascot as they race towards Town Green.
Following the mascot race is the big street parade down Horton Street to Town Green, where local community groups ignite festive cheer as they pass by, and Santa arrives on a fire engine to make his way to the Christmas tree.
Mayor Peta Pinson and Santa light up the Port Macquarie CBD Christmas Tree at 8pm, proudly supported by MBC Recruitment and Ostara Australia.
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