CELEBRATE: Emerald Jockey Club is hosting a night of races and entertainment to welcome the new year.
CELEBRATE: Emerald Jockey Club is hosting a night of races and entertainment to welcome the new year. Ann Alcock

Race to finish new year

THE Emerald Jockey Club is welcoming the new year in style, with its first New Year's Eve, Hawaiian-themed races.

Gates will open at 3pm, with the first of the five horse races to start at 4pm.

The club will host the races as a Hawaiian beach party and encourages locals to get into the beach vibe.

A mini fashions on the beach competition will be held for the best-dressed individuals or group.

Club treasurer Donna Eriksen said organisers were trying to cater for the locals who wanted a fun night that everyone could enjoy.

"It's a funny time of year. A lot of people leave town, and there are those who stay that are looking for something to do,” Ms Eriksen said.

"This is for those who don't want to go over the top, but something that the whole family can enjoy.

"It's a hot time of the year, and it is supposed to be relaxed.

"We will dress the club up a bit and think people should have fun with the theme.

"People can wear thongs and sarongs. We aren't looking for bare flesh, but more of the summer outfits.”

The final race will be held at 6pm, which will be followed by live entertainment to kick-start the festivities of the night.

Musical talent Anna Farquhar will open the evening, and will then introduce Kalesti and the Kollections, taking the event into the new year.

Food and entertainment will be provided, catering for all ages.

Children will have an afternoon of delight with slides, a jumping castle, merry-go-round, a gladiator ring and face painting, which will be operating from 3pm to 8.30pm.

Guests will have a range of food options available from the first race including the canteen, wood-fire pizzas, Indian cuisine and Mr Whippy.

The celebration will be topped off by fireworks throughout the night, at 8.30pm for the families, and again at midnight to welcome the new year in Emerald.

Ms Eriksen said the idea of combining the much-loved end-of-year event with the horse races was one they couldn't resist.

"The jockey club is looking for different community-based events to host,” Ms Eriksen said.

"This gives us the opportunity to provide cheap, family-friendly events.”

Entry is free for children under 12, and a cost of $10 for adults which will include a form guide for the afternoon.

Contact the Emerald Jockey Club on 49822029 or visit their Facebook page for details.