FERRET racing, apple pie baking competitions and a tri-apple-thon were among some of the activities at the Harcourt Applefest at the weekend.
The annual event, which has been running for 22 years, kicked off with an art show on Friday followed by two action-packed days of festivities.
About 3000 people flocked to Harcourt on Saturday and Applefest committee chairman George Milford hailed the three-day event a success.
Mr Milford said people had come from as far as Sunbury and Woodend to experience the biggest event on Harcourt’s calender.
He said ferret racing had proved popular among festival goers and there had been a strong number of entries for the apple pie baking competition.
Mr Milford said the Applefest was a positive way to promote Harcourt as a rapidly growing community, with many local businesses and services.
“Local people and businesses have been going through a tough time, with the development of the freeway and orchards closing down,” he said.
“Having the festival each year gives the community a bit of a gear up and also recognises the importance of the apple growing industry.”
Other activities included a pet parade, rock climbing, a demonstration by celebrity chef Beau Cook and a street parade, featuring floats, dancers and vintage cars.
The popular duathlon was held on Sunday, with prizes and medals awarded to male and female winners of the senior and junior categories.
Lisa and David McAuliffe and daughter Ava, 5, travelled from Bendigo to attend the Applefest and said they were surprised with the turnout.
Ms McAuliffe said there was lots of activities to keep the kids occupied and she had enjoyed listening to the choir perform.
Guna Deva from Campbells Creek attended the event for the second time and said she liked the street procession and the bands.
“It is a wonderful event, with a great country atmosphere and that is what attracts me,” she said.
“I have seen people of all ages enjoying themselves, from young children to the elderly.”