Lasers to ignite New Year's Eve spectacular

Wollongong's New Year's Eve fireworks will be preceded by a special laser show this year with the old lighthouse playing a starring role.

"Each year about 15,000 people line the harbour to take in the colourful fireworks display and I expect 2012 will be no different," Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said.

The family-friendly and alcohol-free event held around Belmore Basin starts at 5pm and includes live music from the City of Wollongong Brass Band and jazz group the Cats O' Plenty.

The highlight of the evening will be the fireworks display at 9.30pm, this year sponsored by Bulli-based refractory business Vesuvius.

The company, which will relocate to Port Kembla early next year, recently answered the council's call for a corporate sponsor to help fund the display and is contributing $15,000.

The laser show, produced by Lightsound, will start about 9.20pm.

Amusement rides and a wide selection of food stands will be set up in nearby Lang Park and Osborne Park, and will remain in place on New Year's Day.

There will also be face-painting, show bags and stalls selling a range of glow-in-the-dark items.

Members of the Wollongong NRE Hawks will also drop by to sign autographs and meet fans after their New Year's Eve match against the Melbourne Tigers at Wollongong Entertainment Centre.

Tip-off is at 6.30pm.

"Factor in some top fireworks and that you can be home in time to watch Sydney's midnight fireworks on television and it's the perfect night out I think," Cr Bradbery said.

Pictured: Front, from left, entertainers Jack Contencin, Elise Vohradsky and Matthias Vecanski, with, back left, Vesuvius general manager Bill Cousineau and Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery. Photo: ROBERT PEET

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