ROTARIANS have branded this year's Australia Day arts and craft market a success despite a changed venue, COVID-19, extreme heat and the threat of storms.
Bendigo's main Australia Day event is usually held at Lake Weeroona but COVID-19 threats forced Rotary Club of Bendigo Sandhurst to plan a scaled-down market at the Bendigo Jockey Club.
Rotarian Peter Rainey said the event attracted a third of its usual numbers but that was no reason to play down its success, given the pandemic.
"A lot of people didn't think we'd get as many people as we got," he said.
About 5000 people ended up attending, Mr Rainey estimated.
The Rotary club had been forced to cancel the 2021 market so Mr Rainey was very happy to share a 2022 celebration with the public.
He thanked the Jockey Club, the City of Greater Bendigo and volunteers for their help making the event a reality.
Mr Rainey hoped to see the market return to Lake Weeroona in 2023 "bigger and better than ever", depending on the pandemic.
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