Rotorua families can have fun welcoming the year 2019 together at the Glo Festival, and local emergency services have reminders for the public about celebrating safely.

An annual favourite on the Rotorua event calendar, the Glo Festival starts at 4.30pm today, with the multi award-winning animated Disney feature Coco screening at 6pm.

It will be followed by a line-up of local entertainment, including music students from Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, 2018 Miss Rotorua contestants, a kids' disco, DJ Pete Makiha and music from Remaster and the Geyser Chiefs.

The evening will finish with a 15-minute fireworks display at 9.30pm on the lakefront.

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A range of food will be available from mobile food vendors and Mahons Amusements will be next door to help keep people entertained.

Alia Ryan, the managing director of Boost Fundraising and Events and project manager for Glo Festival on behalf of the Rotorua Lakes Council, said she was looking forward to seeing some of Rotorua's youth on stage again this year.

"It's so exciting to see young talent developing, and the 15-minute fireworks display at 9.30pm is always amazing."

She said the priority for the GLO Festival was to deliver a safe, family-friendly, free event for the community, and everything organised was focused on that.

Ryan said the festival was smoke-free and alcohol-free. People are also asked to not bring gazebos or tents so everyone has a great view of the movie and stage.

"Community events bring people together. Glo Festival provides a safe, free evening for families, visitors and locals to celebrate the end of the year."

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Inspector Brendon Keenan, Rotorua area prevention manager, said Rotorua police want the community to be safe on New Year's Eve, so they have extra staff working in addition to their normal frontline police.

He said a particular focus was around the Glo Festival, which they had been working closely with Rotorua Lakes Council on.

"We're all keen to ensure a safe environment for everyone attending – this includes looking at the environmental conditions of Glo Festival such as additional lighting and boundaries.

"Our priority is the safety of all our Rotorua people and those visiting Rotorua."

Keenan said Rotorua police encouraged people to enjoy themselves at New Year, but to be responsible with their own drinking and look after their friends and family too.

"Make sure your family and friends are safe.

"Have a chat to your friends and make a plan for your night so you know how to get home safely and where everyone is, and ask for help if you need it."

Keenan reminded people not to forget the basics to keep them and their mates safe.

Keenan said Rotorua police would encourage the community to do their part in making sure everyone was safe too.

"If you witness something concerning, call police. If you have a young person in your life, encourage them to make smart choices.

"It all comes down to a bit of common sense and good judgment which will help ensure everyone gets into 2019 safe and well."

Glo Festival Schedule
• 4.30pm: Music and food trucks
• 6pm: Coco – movie on big screen
• 8pm: Live music continues
• 9.30pm: Fireworks spectacular
• 9.45pm: Evening concludes