Blast from the past to welcome in 2013

While thousands crowd the Wollongong foreshore and pack out pubs across the region, a select few revellers will spend New Year's Eve tucked away in the city's new small bars.

At Globe Lane bar His Boy Elroy, party-goers will evoke the celebratory spirit of Roaring '20s America at an end-of-prohibition party.

Owner Ben Hudson said the speakeasy-style bar's regular customers were after an intimate way to spend the final hours of 2012.

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"What we're hearing is that New Year's Eve is about being with those you love hanging out with so people are looking for an intimate place where they can remember counting in the year with friends and family," he said.

Thirroul's Bar Next Door to Samuels and brand-new Wollongong nightspot Dagwood will be hosting similar small shindigs on Monday night.

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Meantime, at Belmore Basin, a crowd of up to 5000 is expected to turn up to watch what's tipped to be a spectacular laser show focused on the old lighthouse and a fireworks display at 9.30pm.

The weather forecast is for a partly cloudy day with a top of about 26 degrees, so families are encouraged to pack a picnic blanket and enjoy roving entertainers, food stalls and rides around the harbour from 6pm.

The Wollongong NRE Hawks will also make an appearance to greet fans after taking-on the Melbourne Tigers in their annual end-of-year match at WIN Entertainment Centre.

Roads surrounding the harbour, including parts of Cliff Rd, Harbour St and Endeavour Dr will be closed from 5pm.

The North Gong Hotel is expecting crowds of about 4500 to watch television and music personality Ruby Rose headline a line-up of several bands and DJs.

Towradgi Beach Hotel and the Hotel Illawarra are also expecting large numbers and will stay open until 3am.

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