Thousands of families flocked down to the Tauranga City Council-sponsored community New Year's Eve events last night.
The events were held at the Strand in Tauranga CBD, Fergusson Park in Matua, Gordon Spratt Reserve in Pāpāmoa and the Tauranga Racecourse Reserve in Greerton.
Almost 10,000 people visited the events across all four locations, a council spokesperson said.
Mayor Tenby Powell, who ran the traditional mayoral barbecue at the Strand event, said it was the first time he had been to the event.
"It was a really lovely family environment," he said.
"With almost 10,000 attendees across four locations, it was great to see so many people coming together in some of our loveliest locations to watch the sun go down, enjoy entertainment and countdown to the fireworks or laser light display.
"From the feedback I've received, it was a wonderful way to see out the year."
The most popular events were at Gordan Spratt Reserve in Pāpāmoa and Fergusson Park in Matua with around 3000 attendees at each.
About 1000 people also headed to Greerton's New Year's Eve at Tauranga Racecourse last night, the first year for this venue.
Other councillors were at the other events around town, Powell said.
"We've got councillors spread out across all the events ... I'm here with the deputy mayor [Larry Baldock] and councillor Tina Salisbury."
Councillors Kelvin Clout, Steve Morris and Dawn Kiddie attended the event in Pāpāmoa, he said.
Naomi Gallaghan said she arrived at the Strand early, between 5.30pm and 6pm, with her two daughters and another family, and quickly grabbed a spot on the grass to set up a picnic blanket.
She was impressed with the event.
"It was great, it's such a good family thing," she said.
"It's done by 9.30, quarter to 10, and you can just go home put the kids to bed."
She said her favourite part of the event was that it was so community-based.
"It's just for families and I think that's so important on a night like tonight ... the kids want to join in, but you can't stay up until midnight with them," Gallaghan said.
"It's been really good."
She said she had been coming to the Strand event for a couple of years, and chose the location because it was centrally-based.
Her daughters, Olivia, 11, and Ella, 8, said they enjoyed the whole evening, but especially the "big finale" with the fireworks and the free sausages handed out by Powell.
James Gray said he enjoyed the event, especially the glow-in-the-dark poi and hula-hoop shows.
"Spiderman wandering around was great ... very engaged with everyone, had a lot of attention from the kids and seemed to be getting along with everyone really well."
Martin Redwood, from Whakamarama, said he only arrived in time to see the fireworks.
It was a "spectacular" display, he said.
The crowd agreed, with cheers and gasps coming from those gathered throughout the seven-minute display.
"I really enjoyed it .. it was brilliant," he said.