THE Eaglehawk Dahlia and Arts Festival will continue to keep the community close to its heart.
The 43rd annual festival was launched at the Eaglehawk Town Hall last night with a number of volunteers, community members and participants in attendance.
Former principal of Eaglehawk Secondary College, Wes Vine opened the festival and spoke about how the event had changed over time.
At the launch, former Bendigo Senior Secondary College student Milly Heinrich was named the recipient of the $1000 festival scholarship.
President David Richards said his favourite aspect of the festival was seeing the entire community come together for a good time.
"Watching everyone come together to have a good time is something I always look out for," he said.
"It is wonderful how it all comes together.
"Not many people would know this but there would be about 180 to 200 volunteers.
"It takes about 12 months worth of work."
Mr Richards said a highlight of this year's festival would be the 50th anniversary of Eaglehawk Secondary College.
He said every second year the Cornish Association of Victoria put on an ancestry display during the festival.
"People don't realise what they bring to the festival," he said.
"If you want to do any family history, this is the weekend to do it."
Mr Richards said the festival gave families something to enjoy but at a cost they could afford.
During his speech, Mr Vine said the festival was a great benefit to the community.
He said the one of the most important reasons behind continuing to run the festival was it built on a sense of community.
The festival finishes on March 21.
For more information visit www.dahlia.bendigo.net.au