The end of the year is set to go off with a bang as Wagga City Council officially announced its New Year's Eve celebration plans this week. Now less than four weeks away, the council announced plans to welcome thousands to the shores of Lake Albert for a free family-friendly event and council's events officer Emma Corbett is encouraging everyone to head on down for a great night out. "Council is really excited to be putting on a free community event at Lake Albert for New Year's Eve," Ms Corbett said. "We will have food vendors, but we're also encouraging residents and their visiting family and friends to pack a picnic and come down and celebrate the year that was." The event, which begins at 6.30pm will be topped off by an on-water fireworks display at 9.30pm. The event will be somewhat scaled back from previous years after the council failed to secure interest from external organisers to host the end-of-year event. "The biggest change is that it is a reduced event, but there will still be lots of fun to be had," Ms Corbett said. The city's December 31 festivities have for the past two years centred around a Light The Lake event, which last year attracted more than 10,000 people to the shores of the lake. Despite the scaled back event, Ms Corbett is optimistic many thousands will still attend to enjoy a great night out. It will also be the first NYE event since the controversial sandstone blocks were installed along Eastlake Drive by the lake's foreshore. The blocks, which line the lake-side of the drive, drew criticism after they were installed earlier this year amid concern they did not fit in with the scenery and cost too much. The blocks replaced a post and railing fence which council said at the time was in a poor state of repair. Ms Corbett however said the blocks shouldn't impact this year's NYE event at all, but thought the might provide some "additional seating". Meanwhile, council's destination and events coordinator Kimberly Parker said it will be a great way for the community to come together to farewell 2023 and say hello to 2024. "The focus of this event is on creating a relaxed and inviting atmosphere for families to enjoy a spectacular fireworks display to celebrate the year that was," Ms Parker said. She encouraged people to bring along a picnic, camp chairs and picnic blankets and find a spot around the lake foreshore to settle in and enjoy a family evening. From there, attendees can continue the celebrations at home, or head out to other venues across the city where more local celebrations are being held. Local residents are also reminded there will be a change in traffic conditions to Eastlake Drive and Lakeside Drive on the night. Ms Parker encouraged people living within walking distance to the lake to do so. "For those planning to drive to the event, remember to allow extra travel time to take those traffic changes into account and to find parking," she said. For more information and FAQs about this year's New Year's Eve fireworks display, head to the council website.