Marching for glory and fun

GALLERY: Bendigo Easter Gala Parade Faces

RELATED: Crowd laps up the show

Participants get into the Easter spirit

THE Easter parade was a smashing success - in no small part to the participants who proudly marched down the streets.

Brendan Furness and Richard Pell were two of the men who helped bring Bendigo's most popular dragon to life.

Both were celebrating a momentous year - their 10th as dragon legs - and they said they loved it. 

"It's a fun thing to do," Mr Pell said.

"I have a couple of kids who love seeing me do it."

Mr Furness said he liked everything about the festival.

James Roberts, who has also been carrying the dragon for 10 years, said the Bendigo community really got behind the men.

"When you're running alongside the dragon you really feel great support," he said.

"Everyone screams out, 'Good on you mate!'"

He said carrying the dragon could be tiring but when he was in action "the adrenalin kicks in".

Alan Gray was driving the truck that transported the littlest members of the Bendigo Chinese Association - those under five - and a mythical princess.

Mr Gray said he was proud to be "the chauffeur of the Princess of the General".

"Sydney may have the royals," he said, "But we have the princess!"

He said he had been driving the truck for eight years but previously took part in the parade as a child.

"I think we've got something to be fairly proud of," he said.

And the festival wasn't without its international performers either.

Walking in front of Mr Gray's truck - acting the part of "The General" - was Chinese tourist Gary Gong.

Mr Gong and his wife, Jenny, were visiting the Chinese museum just two days ago when he was recruited to take part in the parade.

Mrs Gong, speaking on behalf of her husband who doesn't speak English, said he was fitting as The General.

"He enjoyed it very much," she said.

"It was so beautiful and great.

"There's lots of Chinese culture here - I love it."

First-time participant Jake Erving - student at Camp Hill Primary School - was thrilled to take part as a uni-cyclist. 

He said he had picked up the skill through a circus program run at his school, learning how to cycle in just one week.

"They said I was the fastest kid to ever pick it up," he said.

His procession went off with a bang; with students juggling, walking on stilts and uni-cycling their hearts out.

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