Lakes Entrance police are expecting large crowds to swarm on the streets and foreshore for tonight’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.
While no fireworks are planned, as has been the case for many years, the carnival will be operating and many families are expected to enjoy a picnic celebration on the beach and lawns.
Restaurants are also anticipating a big night with most establishments already fully booked for dinner.
Additional police reinforcements have arrived in town for the holiday period and the public can expect to see an extra presence of the uniformed brigade throughout the day and night.
Police will step up foot patrols and officers on horseback are also expected to move through the crowds.
Station commander, Senior Sergeant Mel McLennan, advised people to respect the current level of COVID restrictions.
“Even though it’s New Year’s Eve COVID restrictions must still be adhered to, so if you can’t maintain social distancing, wear a mask,” she said.
Snr Sgt McLennan remains hopeful police won’t have to deal with any incidents on NYE.
“We’d hope that locals and visitors go about their business in a respectful manner,” she said.
“It’s important that everyone who is out can enjoy themselves in a safe way,” Snr Sgt McLennan said.
“We don’t want a few silly individuals spoiling it for the majority.”
Thousands of people have converged on Lakes Entrance in the past fortnight with hotel accommodation and campsites fully booked.
The influx of tourists has been welcomed by local traders who have had a tough year due to the bushfire crisis, which resulted in Lakes Entrance being evacuated, before they were again disrupted with COVID-19.
Hundreds of boats and trailers are scattered across every available space around town and people are also urged to slow down and drive carefully around Lakes Entrance.
Police recommend that people would be smart to stay in their accommodation and welcome in the New Year’s Eve celebrations quietly and safely.
Lakes Entrance police are appealing for information to witnesses who may have noticed who was responsible for pulling out a number of street signs in the township.
At least half a dozen signs were found toppled over in Church Street and on the Esplanade over the weekend.
Police suspect some pedestrians “with extra Dutch courage” have pulled the signs out.
“People walking home intoxicated have no doubt pushed them over,” a police officer said.
Lakes Entrance police officers, First Constable Rob Steen and Senior Constable Shane Elfrink, will join extra police patrols in
perusing the streets of Lakes Entrance on New Year’s Eve. The officers are pictured chatting to Nagle College student, Tyren
Djokic, yesterday. K487-8574