THE city's New Year's Eve Party in the Park is back on after a number of businesses stepped in to fill a funding hole. Bathurst Regional Council made the shock announcement on Monday, December 4 that the event - which draws thousands to the Adventure Playground each year and features a spectacular fireworks display - would be cancelled due to council's budget problems. Mayor Jess Jennings told the Western Advocate that council was unable to attract enough sponsorship to cover the event. "We have to tighten our belts and this is one way to do that," he said of the cancellation. "Not one single councillor was happy about the decision that we made and it is a shame we're not proceeding, but that's what happens where we're under circumstances where we have to tighten our budgeting." Council said the decision would save it $45,000. A few days later, though, and Bathurst businesses have banded together to ensure the event is able to run after all. Bathurst Business Chamber said in a statement that the Party in the Park would now be running thanks to "the generous support" of major sponsors Kelso Electrical Airworx, Vivability Ltd, Professionals Real Estate, Forbutt's Keppel Street Pharmacy, BoxGrove Events and Reliance Bank. Media sponsors will also include Western Advocate and 2BS. "Their sponsorship has played a pivotal role in ensuring that this year's event goes ahead," the chamber said. The chamber said the Party in the Park is "a wonderful opportunity to create lasting memories and strengthen the bonds that make Bathurst a vibrant and close-knit community". "In our ongoing commitment to promote local commerce, the chamber consistently encourages individuals to shop and invest in businesses within our community," the statement said. "This upcoming event serves as an opportunity for Bathurst's businesses to express gratitude and give back to the community, acknowledging the support received throughout the year, especially in the upcoming weeks leading up to the festive season." Bathurst Regional Council's decision to cancel the Party in the Park followed an acrimonious rates rise debate within the community earlier this year. Council announced in August that it would be seeking a permanent special rate variation "to adequately fund its current services and infrastructure needs" due to stress being placed on its budget, but that plan was killed off in late September after a backlash from the community, which included an angry rally in Kings Parade.