BENDIGO Easter Fair organisers are already planning a "huge spectacular" for the 2022 festival, as the city winds down from its revised 2021 program.
Event organisers said they were pleased and surprised by the popularity of their events, despite the COVID-19 safe protocols which forced the cancellation of the Easter Fair Parade.
The City of Greater Bendigo confirmed 23,900 tickets were booked for events across the Easter weekend's COVID-19 safe Eggs-plore Bendigo program. Only a few events were still able to accept walk-ins.
Read more: Easter festivities draw thousands to Bendigo
Bendigo Art Gallery director Jessica Bridgfoot also confirmed the facility was incredibly busy during Easter, with several sessions of the Mary Quant exhibition sold out.
Easter Book Fair co-ordinator Colin Lambie said the Y Service Club was down about 20 per cent on its usual takings, but had still raised a significant amount through the fundraiser.
He said nearly 3000 people visited the book sale across Easter.
Mr Lambie said book fair visitors were overwhelmingly positive about the experience, both in person and on social media.
He speculated this might have been because crowd limits meant book buyers were browsing with only about 120 other people at a time, a far cry from the normal queue of 300 before the event's first opening.
Mr Lambie said it was amazing how positive people were about the event's COVID-19 safe rules, which involved all attendees leaving on the hour, then coming back.
He said the Y Service Club was thinking about options for possibly implementing a booking system for future events.
For the Bendigo Easter Fair Society president Simon Mulqueen it was a very different Easter, but a chance to appreciate the value the full-scale event held for tourism.
Mr Mulqueen said the committee was conscious this year's Eggs-plore Bendigo weekend was primarily a council event, because COVID-19 restrictions put a stop to the full-scale festivities.
But he said the revised 2021 event appeared to have gone well and the city had done well in difficult circumstances.
Mr Mulqueen said the society was already planning a "huge spectacular" for the 2022 Easter Fair, to finally celebrate the event's 150th anniversary cancelled in the 2020 COVID-19 crisis.
He said 2022 would ideally be a four-day event, with many of the aspects postponed from 2020 incorporated, including dragons on parade.
"It's looking very positive, we're keen to get going," Mr Mulqueen said.
"For those people who have missed Easter these past few years, there's an opportunity if you like to get together and make it something very special."
Rotary Easter Art Show co-ordinator Brian Figg said the Bendigo Rotary Club was delighted with how its event unfolded.
He said most sessions were fully to capacity, with pieces of art worth more than $90,000 collectively sold.
"We weren't sure how we were going to go after the disappointment of last year, but it's been very strongly supported by the Bendigo community and visitors," he said.
"We're very happy that we've been able to support the artists' community and that we've been able to put on a premier event in Bendigo."
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