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Traditional night at the Albury trots a surefire way to welcome in 2016

A night at the trots in Albury has become a New Year’s Eve tradition.

Albury Harness Racing Club president Sue van de Ven said it always seemed like you never had enough time when it came to organising a community staple like their last meet of the year.

“Most of the preparations are in place, we have the lights organised, the fireworks organised, but there's a few last minute hitches or dramas to deal with,” she said.

“We’re planning for an eight to nine race program.

“Years ago there would have been 9000 people, last year it was about 4000, it's a lovely evening to spend relaxing.”

Nominations have closed for horses and the field will be announced on Tuesday afternoon.

Albury Mini Trotting Club

Young racers aged between 8 and 14 from the Albury Mini Trotting Club will also take to the track between the main races.

Mrs van de Ven said the gauntlet had also been thrown down by South West Riverina Mini-Trotters Club representative Terry Judd for their own race using the tiny horses.

“The horses will be pulled out of a hat, the carts are going to be a bit squishy cause they’re built for kids,” she said. “Albury’s reputation is on the line.”

The evening is the go-to event for night-owls and New Year’s Eve tragics who want to welcome 2016 with fireworks on the stroke of midnight.

The last race of the night will finish at about 11.15pm to give horse owners time to stow their animals away from the showgrounds before the fireworks go off.

Mrs van de Ven said the pyrotechnic display would be massive, going for about 20 to 25 minutes.

“That’s the way to see in the year,” she said.

The fireworks will go up from the centre of the showgrounds and Lavington Rural Fire Brigade will be on hand to put out any spot fires if necessary.

The CFA has asked revellers to enjoy legal fireworks displays in places like Albury-Wodonga rather than set off their own illegal fire crackers.

CFA chief officer Joe Buffone said illegal fireworks could cause serious issues for fire services, especially in dry conditions with high fuel-loads in forests.

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