LIVE: All the New Year’s Eve countdown action from Lake Albert

SO LONG, 2017: We'll be across all three Skyworks parties tonight to bring you live updates as you celebrate the beginning of 2018!

SO LONG, 2017: We'll be across all three Skyworks parties tonight to bring you live updates as you celebrate the beginning of 2018!

3:30pm: Preparations are well and truly underway as Wagga gets ready to ring in the new year at Lake Albert tonight!

At Apex Park, the stage was set and the first band was getting ready to take the stage at 4:30pm. 

3:45pm: The team from Yenda Beer is here with their much-loved beer ute to help you quench your thirst as the countdown to 2018 continues.

Beer ambassador Mick Connell gave us a tour of his bar on wheels as he prepared to pour the first beer of the day. 

Speaking of trucks – a life sized Tonka also made its way into Apex Park to entertain kids big and small throughout the night.

TOOT TOOT: Liam Gentle, 8, Eliza Gentle, 5, and dad Michael Gentle from Wagga check out the life-sized Toyota Tonka truck on display at Apex Park. Picture: Kieren L Tilly

TOOT TOOT: Liam Gentle, 8, Eliza Gentle, 5, and dad Michael Gentle from Wagga check out the life-sized Toyota Tonka truck on display at Apex Park. Picture: Kieren L Tilly

4:10pm: The Wagga Warbirds were spotted doing a test run over Lake Albert this afternoon ahead of their upcoming airshow. 

We spoke to chief pilot Alex von Mengersen earlier this week; he said the Warbirds have some high flying antics in store to help Wagga ring in the new year.

"We've got three aircrafts and we'll be doing a series of passes in formation, so the wheel chips will be three feet from each other and there'll be four or five passes in different shapes and configurations," Alex said.

The Warbirds will be taking off at 5:45pm for a fitfeen minute airshow that is sure to leave everyone in awe of their serious flying prowess.  

LIFT OFF: Pilots Paul Duncan, Ian Eccles, Clive Brookes, and Alex von Mengersen will dazzle crowds with a 15 minute air display tonight for New Year's Eve. Picture: Wagga Warbirds

LIFT OFF: Pilots Paul Duncan, Ian Eccles, Clive Brookes, and Alex von Mengersen will dazzle crowds with a 15 minute air display tonight for New Year's Eve. Picture: Wagga Warbirds

4:30pm: The celebrations are officially underway at Apex Park! 

Crowds have started to stream into the park, and the first band in a long list of entertainment has taken the stage.

With a 20-minute fireworks display, five bands, amusement rides, barbecues, food trucks, a jumping castle, and animal rides all yet to come, tonight is already shaping up to be a New Year’s Eve everyone will remember. 

5:00pm: Local legends The Groove Factorie have taken the stage to get the crowd up and dancing as the countdown to 2018 continues.

They started out with some pop favourites for the youngsters before getting into some of the finest rock tunes for the older crowd.

We spoke to Geoff Simpson from The Groove Factorie earlier this week, who said the band was thrilled to be a part of Wagga’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.

“There's an amazing fireworks display, there's great entertainment, so come down and be social - it's all about being together on New Year’s Eve with the whole community,” he said.

6:00pm: As more and more people flooded into Apex Park to get in on the action, we checked in with the crowd to hear their predictions for 2018.

Anne O’Connor had some interesting royal insights:

Superman revealed himself to be a loyal St Kilda supporter: 

While some made predictions for the year ahead, others shared their reflections with us on the past year.

For young Madeline, 2017 marked an important milestone:

6:30pm: While some spent the afternoon soaking up the sun at Apex Park, others flocked to the Boat Club to ring in the new year in style.

A tropical flavour seemed to hit the Wagga Boat Club, where these girls enjoyed their lakeside view:

The 2018 predictions continued at the Wagga Boat Club, where the sports theme still ran strong:

7.00pm: The tables are set and guests arriving at the Wagga Country Club where a three course meal is set to give 240 guests very happy bellies by midnight! 

Darryl Lamotte gave us the run down of the menu: 

Canapes will be followed by alternate service lamb back strap and pocketed stuffed chicken breast with smoked cheese and avocado wrapped in prosciutto. 

(Hungry yet?) 

And why have one dessert when you have three? Exclusive guests will be treated to sticky date, flourless chocolate pudding, lemon tarts and a cheese board. Cheers to that! 

7.30pm: The new year will be one of Olivia Spackman’s most memorable having just graduated high school. 

Ms Spackman graduated from Kildare and was celebrating a year of trials and tribulations at the Country Club. 

“It’s a really good way to end it,” she said. 

“Having so many places to go out in Wagga just makes things that little bit more exciting!” 

She’s applying to do nursing at TAFE in Wagga and said it’s wonderful to be able to celebrate New Years Eve in such style at home. 

9:30pm: And the fireworks have begun!

With rumours spreading that this year’s display over Lake Albert would be the biggest ever seen in regional NSW, thousands of people flocked to the lake to help bid 2017 farewell with a bang.

If you missed the display, fret not! You can catch up on all the fiery action below:

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