60 involved in New Year's Eve fight

TWO Lake Macquarie visitors have been bailed to appear in Taree Local Court on February 4 following a brawl involving 60 people at a Harrington licensed premises on New Years Eve.

Just after midnight police were called to assist and arrived within minutes of the fight breaking out.

Officers, who were greatly outnumbered, were able to disperse the crowd quickly, however two males continued to taunt patrons.

Police attempted to intervene but both males, an 18 year old and a 23 year old, became increasingly aggressive resulting in officers allegedly being punched in the face.

Both allegedly continued to resist arrest but were eventually detained and taken to Taree Police Station.

The 23 year old male from Floraville and 18 year old male from Eleebana were both charged with four offences including affray, two counts of assaulting police officers in the execution of their duty and resisting arrest.

Meanwhile it was a different scene at the seaside village on Wednesday as thousands of people headed to the John Gollan Day festivities, culminating in a spectacular fireworks display.

Organisers of the day were pleased with the turnout and the reception from both holidaymakers and locals, while the strong police presence ensured no incidents occurred.

And organisers of Taree's New Years Eve celebrations were full in their praise of the local police and the community following the "best ever" turnout at Taree foreshore.

Organiser Jim Bird said thousands of people packed the foreshore from Pulteney Street right through to Sailos along the riverbank to sample great local entertainment and get a glimpse of the stunning pyrotechnics display just after 9pm.

"Everything ran so smoothly, it was a great night for everyone," Jim said.

"From all reports that I received people really enjoyed themselves, especially the fireworks, they were exceptional.

"It's hard to put an exact estimate on the crowd but everyone was in good spirits and there was only one issue that I'm aware of, however the police were straight onto it and moved everyone along straight away, they did a great job."

Jim coordinated the evening for the first time, with the help of Greater Taree City Council, and said he'd love to come back and do it all again next year.

"It was a great community night and I'd definitely love to be a part of it again," he said.

Manning Great Lakes police reported minor incidents of people failing to move on from licensed premises when asked, some offensive language and behaviour, but generally they said everyone was well behaved and enjoyed themselves.

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