The City of Greater Bendigo is planning a family-friendly program of activities to celebrate Easter in 2021.
The smaller, three-day program will replace the 150th Bendigo Easter Fair celebrations and will take place over a number of locations. It is hoped the 150th anniversary will be marked in 2022 with the full program, including the Torchlight Procession and Gala Parade.
The 2021 program will feature timed and ticketed activities that will take place in venues where patron entry and exit can be managed in a COVID-safe way.
Acting Manager Tourism and Major Events Jemma Docherty said recent challenges around having ‘roaming events’ meant the Fair was unable to proceed in its traditional format.
“Since emerging from our second lockdown last year, the City has been considering a range of ways it can celebrate Easter in 2021. However, the recent outbreak and limits on crowd numbers have meant we would not be able to celebrate as planned,” Ms Docherty said.
“Like other local event organisers this week, we have had to make a challenging decision but we are in a fortunate position to be able to provide an alternative program of activities over the Easter long weekend.
“Although we are disappointed not to be able to continue with our 150th celebrations, Bendigo is very much open for business this Easter and we look forward to providing a program of activities that will safely entertain children and families and encourage people to visit.
“We are now speaking with our entertainment providers and will release the program in late February. The nature of the program will require people to plan ahead and some of our popular attractions will be presented differently.
“We know Easter is a very busy time for friends and relatives to travel to Bendigo, and there will be many other ways for them to enjoy our city and region, including the Mary Quant: Fashion Revolutionary exhibition at Bendigo Art Gallery, visiting the Golden Dragon Museum and Bendigo Heritage Attractions, including the Tramways, Joss House and Central Deborah Gold Mine, dining out at our great restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars, and visiting wineries.
“It will be Easter with a difference and we’ll miss our famous dragons, but we are pleased to be in a position where we can deliver a small program of activities and we hope to build up to a wonderful 150th Bendigo Easter Fair in 2022.”