DONALD diners will this weekend feast on gourmet cuisine among towering crops to celebrate the imminent harvest.
Locals and visitors will flock to a mystery location on Saturday as part of the tiny town’s annual Cuisine in the Crop event.
Committee member Sasha Harris said the food and wine-focused event, in its third year, was steadily gaining popularity.
“It’s getting stronger each year,” she said. “The first year it started we were in a really strong drought.
“The first two years were hard and tough. Some residents would say people don’t have the money for this but we see it the other way around.
“In tough times we need to get together and get people out of depression, get them networking and spending time together.”
Mrs Harris said the first year attracted 170 people and the second 240.
With a limit of 250 tickets, she said they expected to see a sell-out crowd this year.
“After the first year not one negative thing was said about it,” she said. “People have said it’s one of the best days of their life.”
Mrs Harris said despite increasing popularity, the event remains dedicated to benefiting Donald.
“It’s about raising funds and getting together,” she said. “It’s intimate, a banquet-style feast where everyone sits together.
“It’s food and wine in the middle of a local farmer’s paddock, there’s entertainment and people have a good time and celebrate living in the country.
“It also showcases the region to people outside the area.”
Mrs Harris said all money raised from the event goes back to the Donald community.
In past years profits have gone to Donald Primary School, Donald Chamber of Commerce, Donald High School, The Men’s Shed and more.
Mrs Harris said the event has a new caterer – Coriander Catering – this year, with a focus on Wimmera-bred entertainment. Local band Last Stand will perform, as well as Luke Bourchier.
The committee has been preparing the event for more than six months, with crop selection now complete.
“It’s hectic and overwhelming but relaxing on the day,” Mrs Harris said.
She said the atmosphere of the event was always fantastic, and expected a heightened mood considering the good crops this year.
“Of course it’s even more exciting with bigger crops,” she said. “A lot of people have never seen the middle of crops so they don’t realise how impressive the whole thing is.
“There’s a real buzz, that’s how it is on the day – the whole town seems excited.”