THE CITY of Greater Bendigo will continue to hold the city's Easter Festival over three days.
Councillors voted Wednesday night to stick with the format for the next five years.
Prior to the meeting, City of Greater Bendigo city futures director Stan Liacos said there would be several issues if the event was held over four days.
“We think it’s better to have a more intensive focus on three quality days rather than stretch it out to four,” he said.
“Recruiting volunteers is getting very, very difficult and cost is a major consideration.
“Costs are substantially greater for labour on an Easter weekend than it is for a normal weekday.”
A report noted it would cost at least $30,000 to add the extra day, for a total cost of almost $200,000.
“I believe that estimate is probably slightly conservative,” Mr Liacos said.
“I would have thought it was $30,000 if not greater to stage another day, which is essentially the most costly public holiday of the year.
“We think that a three day festival provides the momentum that such a great festival needs.
“In the last two years we’ve run it very successfully and believe the momentum and scale of audiences has not diminished.
“If anything they’ve increased.”
The report noted the festival “is respectful of the Christian community” and works with affected churches.
But it also notes there’s strong public support for holding the main parade on Monday and suggests a lack of an event on Monday is detrimental to businesses.
The event will be held from Good Friday to Easter Sunday.
In other council meeting news, the City of Greater Bendigo has pushed for the former Golden Square Secondary site to become an industrial and commercial zone with a mix of recreation and residential areas.
The state government has proposed changes to make the site residential only.
City of Greater Bendigo director planning and development Prue Mansfield said the site was not suited to extensive residential development.