Residents and visitors were out and about across the district for New Year's Eve celebrations on Monday night.By Bronwyn Beyers
Heathcote has welcomed in the New Year in fine style, with plenty of residents and visitors getting out and about across the district in the warm weather.
Many took advantage of New Year’s Eve falling on a Monday by having a long weekend, so the party started early with private functions at many of the district’s restaurants, pubs and cafes, as well as family barbecue and picnics in Barrack Reserve and along the banks of McIvor Creek.
The Warren family of Melbourne stopped at Barrack Reserve on their way to Echuca to join family for New Year’s Eve celebrations and were surprised by the activity in the town.
‘‘We’ve been travelling up to Echuca every year for about 10 years now and we’ve never seen (Heathcote) so busy,’’ Mr Warren said.
‘‘We usually stop here for lunch on our way up, especially when the weather’s good, and it’s lovely seeing so many people enjoying the town and the park.’’
The partying continued well into the evening with some choosing the quieter option of a five course New Year’s Eve dinner at the new Willow Room in High St, while others were up for a big night of music and dancing at the Union Hotel.
Jenny and George Bevan of Melbourne were at the Union Hotel with friends and said it was the first time they’d been to Heathcote and were having a ball.
‘‘Our friends tell us it can be hard to get people to come in to town at night because of the kangaroos and they don’t want to drink and drive,’’ Mrs Bevan said.
‘‘Lucky we’re staying in town, so we can walk home, but there are still plenty of people here and we’re having a great time.
‘‘We also visited some of the cellar doors today and I think we’re taking home a little more of Heathcote than we intended to, but I can promise you we’re going to enjoy it.
‘‘It’s a beautiful night, with great music and friendly people, so we’re glad we came.’’
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