Countdown to 2009 with the Mariners

The Central Coast’s marquee holiday event will return to the Gosford Waterfront again in 2008, when the New Year is ushered in after a day of celebrations alongside the picturesque Brisbane Waters, including the Central Coast Mariners’ Hyundai A-League match up against the Perth Glory.

The Central Coast-s marquee holiday event will return to the Gosford Waterfront again in 2008, when the New Year is ushered in after a day of celebrations alongside the picturesque Brisbane Waters, including the Central Coast Mariners- Hyundai A-League match up against the Perth Glory.

In conjunction with Gosford City Council, Gosford Racing and the Gosford Business Improvement District, the Mariners have again planned for a New Year-s Eve spectacular that will be on par with any family focused celebration across the country, beginning in mid-morning and continuing through until the New Year.

Presented by MARS Food Australia, New Year-s Eve at the Gosford Waterfront will begin at Gosford Racecourse at 11am, when gates will open ahead of the first race of the day at 1.15pm.

All Mariners Members and all ticket holders to the Mariners- clash with the Glory will be granted free admission, for all others, tickets are $10.

The Mariners- clash with the Glory then follows at Bluetongue Stadium - a short trip from Gosford Racecourse - at 6pm, with gates opening at 4.30pm.

At 9pm, an hour after the Mariners- Hyundai A-League encounter against the Glory, Gosford Waterfront will be awash with colour and movement as a fireworks spectacular provides the backdrop for a memorable New Year-s celebration for the whole family.

Furthermore, in the lead up to the fireworks display, the Brophies Circus Aerial show is free for all to view, so to the sounds of band Phonic.

"One of the enduring landmarks the Mariners have helped contribute to the Central Coast community is the New Year-s Eve festival at the Gosford Waterfront, which now in its fourth year has become the premier family entertainment activity of the local calendar," said Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.

"The atmosphere on the Central Coast during the holiday period is truly special and combined with this day-long feast of fun for the whole family to usher in the New Year - the scene is set once again for a magnificent day for people of all ages to enjoy.

"We of course thank MARS Food Australia for their support of this year-s event and also Gosford City Council, Gosford Racing and the Gosford Business Improvement District for their support of what I-m certain will be a truly memorable occasion."

Last year-s New Year-s Eve event attracted an estimated 35,000 people to the Gosford Waterfront, with over 8,000 attending the Gosford Races before 18,686 witnessed the Mariners go down 5-2 to the Melbourne Victory at Bluetongue Stadium.

The Mariners- New Year-s Eve clashes have become a feature of each Hyundai A-League season to date, with large crowds flocking to the Mariners- idyllic bay side home since the inaugural clash on 31 December 2005 - peaking with a then club record attendance for last year-s fixture against the Victory.

From 6pm to 9.30pm this New Year-s Eve, Pavier Family Amusement Rides will be out in force throughout the Gosford Waterfront, with attractions including a Ferris wheel, dodgem cars, the hollow ghost train and an extreme speed ride.

To assist with the smooth running of the event, Dane Drive will be closed to all traffic between 6.45pm and 10pm.

"For all the people of the Central Coast and to the thousands upon thousands of visitors to our region during the Christmas and New Year period, there is simply no other place to be on New Year-s Eve than the Gosford Waterfront," said Gosford City Mayor Chris Holstein.

"The success of this event has been staggering in recent years and I-m certain that we-ll see greater successes again this year as the Central Coast-s premier social event takes place for a fourth time.

"I encourage all the people of the Central Coast to bring their family to Gosford Waterfront on New Year-s Eve for what will be an exceptional day of family fun."

The Mariners return to their Bluetongue Stadium home on Wednesday, 31 December - New Year-s Eve - for the showpiece of their annual summer holiday extravaganza, which will culminate with a Hyundai A-League fixture against the Perth Glory. Kick off is at 6pm.

Tickets for this match are on sale from Ticketek outlets, from the Ticketek website - www.ticketek.com.au, or via phone on 132 849.

For more information regarding the Gosford waterfront New Year-s Eve festival, visit www.gosfordnye.com.au.