Businesses in and around Byron Bay agree that the general behaviour of the public during its New Year’s Eve celebrations was good.
Most say they have had a busy trading season so far this summer – a welcome change from the same time last year.
Co-owner of the Byron Bay Hot Bread Shop, Sandra Vickers, says that the 24-hour bakery experienced a great Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
‘The crowds this year have been one of the most easygoing, cruisy I have seen,’ she told Echonetdaily. ‘They have definitely been very happy and up from last year.’
Cody Prasser, manager of Bay Kebabs, said that the festive season has in general been fairly busy and that New Year’s Eve brought more of the same.
‘The crowds were great,’ said Cody on Monday morning.
‘They have been really well behaved and there were no scuffles. There are still plenty of people around. I have had a lot of people come in from the Gold Coast and Brisbane as well as plenty of regulars and locals.’
The fun also spilled out of town, with both Bangalow Road and Ewingsdale Road lined with cars.
Carol van Rensburg from the Ozigo takeway told Echonetdaily it has been a good holiday season so far with very reasonable crowds and a hectic work load for staff.
The beachfront was the main focus for most partygoers, however, and St John Ambulance superintendent Dennis Trevithick said that the usual injuries of cuts, scrapes and over-consumption were all they had to deal with.
Byron’s chamber of commerce (Byron United) president Paul Waters added that it was too early to tell if business has prospered over the holiday period but said the night was a great success. ‘The celebration in Apex Park was a huge success and the area was packed – there must have been five or six thousand people just around the stage area. Everyone I have spoken to says it was giant and it was great that Council managed to have the town pretty much cleaned up by daybreak.’
Police appear to be happy with what they saw as a quiet New Year’s Eve event and were in good spirits during the traditional early-morning breathalyser check at the eastern end of town.
The only major issue dealt with by police was an incident at a caravan park on Ewingsdale Road. They are investigating the circumstances surrounding the malicious wounding of two men at about 8.20 on Saturday evening. Two youths, both 19 years old, were struck by a bottle, possibly fracturing the cheekbone of one of the men, and causing a significant laceration to the face of the other.
Both victims were conveyed to Byron Bay Hospital for treatment and an investigation is underway.