BENDIGONIANS have been left bitterly disappointed after finding out the Easter parade, that some had camped out overnight for, was cancelled just hours before it was meant to start.
Steve Epworth and his family eagerly travelled all the way from Whyalla in South Australia in the hopes to see the imperial dragons participate in the Bendigo Advertiser Gala Parade alongside his grandchildren.
He sat, waiting by the fountain in the pouring rain, since 7am this morning to get a good seat for the parade which was scheduled to begin at noon.
Naturally, he was devastated when the parade was cancelled.
"That long drive tomorrow morning will be hard," he said.
Unphased by the weather, Steve and three others spent the morning sat under their marquee, waiting for the announcement about whether or not the parade was going ahead.
The news landed in their laps after several hours. There would be no parade, there would be no imperial dragons.
Similarly, Nich Coates had been also been sitting in the same spot at Pall Mall, waiting for the parade that would not arrive. He had 20 minutes of sleep all night.
Nich said he had been waiting all night for the perfect front row seats to see Dai Gum Loong.
And while he was disappointed it was cancelled, he said he'd had a laugh camping out there with the others.
The group said they'd been looking forward to the event for years - after the 2020 and 2021 fair were both cancelled.
Matthew Straub - another member of the camping group - said the Easter parade would have been jaw-dropping for kids to witness, especially because it was their first time seeing it.
"The fact that it's the 150th year anniversary is a big deal, considering we've missed two years of the parade and two years of celebrations" he said.
MORE NEWS: Dai Gum Loong to perform at noon
While the group was left disappointed that the parade had been cancelled, they were happy they got to experience and witness some events from Sunday like the waking of the dragon and riding the steam trains.
Just before 10am, the announcement was made that the parade and festivities were cancelled.
After seeing the post on social media, the group were left shattered and began packing up their things to leave and go home.
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