BENDIGO turned on its Aussie charm on Sunday as 12,000 people visited Lake Weeroona to celebrate Australia Day.
Mayor Barry Lyons, who opened the event, said it was important to remember how lucky people were to live here.
"Today we reflect on how great a country we live in," he said.
"We have many freedoms - freedoms we treasure - that are deserving of celebration.
"It truly is a special day."
Young citizen of the year and medical intern Skye Kinder, who was honoured at the opening ceremony, said Australia Day in Bendigo was a good celebration of community.
"Bendigo is a welcoming and encouraging community," she said.
"I want to extend a welcome to all medical students who are coming to Bendigo to do their internships."
Australian citizen of the year Gordon McKern, who was recognised for his community service, said he was proud to be a part of Australia and Bendigo.
"It is a privilege to be a Bendigonian," he said.
"Bendigo is a diverse and multicultural city.
"I love that."
There was facepainting, table tennis and stilts for the kids and hot rods and a craft market for the adults.
Bendigo resident Christine, who loved the craft market, said Australia Day was a good chance to head to Lake Weeroona and catch up with friends.
"We are lucky to live in this country when you compare Australia to countries in the world," she said.
Bendigo's emergency services were also at the lake, showing residents the equipment they use.
Bendigo firefighter Travis Harris said he enjoyed showing the public around the truck.
"It has been popular," he said.
"We show the public what we do in an emergency."
Mr Harris said Australia Day was a day to remember all the freedoms and opportunities Australians have.
Bendigo resident Jason Dullard said Australia Day meant getting to spend time with family.
"It's a day to be proud to be Australian," he said.