November 16, 2017

The 2017 Benalla Festival was a huge success with events held throughout the week entertaining locals and visitors alike.

Last weekend’s events kicked off on Friday with the Street Market in the CBD offering bargains and treasures for the crowds.

Benalla’s youngest festival attendees enjoyed the ‘‘Good Vibrations’’ Story Time in the Library, which also hosted the Memories in my Luggage exhibition and the launch of local author Helen Topor’s book Outdoor games for today’s kids.

The highlight of Friday’s events was the Migrant Camp reunion, which attracted hundreds of former residents and their families to the Aviation Museum.

Saturday was full of events, which were all a great success.

In the morning Fawckner Dve was attracting dinosaur hunters of all ages who had the opportunity to interact with the Weekend with Dinosaurs exhibit.

The exhibition was great fun with animatronic dinosaurs, eerie music and knowledgeable dinosaur handlers who helped protect kids from the scary beasts on show.

At the same time McDonald’s was hosting a fun day with face painters on-hand to help youngsters get into the festival spirit.

Throughout the day Wall to Wall art tours were attracting a host of camera-wielding tourists eager to get a picture of Benalla’s amazing street art.

A big part of Saturday was the Festival Parade, which was well attended, and featured a variety of floats.

Local schools, CFA, SES, the migrant camp committee, Mayor Don Firth, Walking with Dinosaurs, and a hot-air balloon engine shooting fire into the air were some of the highlights.

Cooinda Aged Care put in an effort and were awarded the ‘‘Best Business Entry’’ award.

Immediately after the parade the village by the lake filled up with people vying for the best position to enjoy the evenings entertainment, which included Violet Town songstress Ella Hooper.

While this was going on the ‘‘Music in the Laneway’’ event entertained the town’s keen dancers.

Saturday night’s finale was the fireworks display.

Sunday’s events started with the always popular ‘‘Day in the Gardens’’ market at the Botanical gardens, which also featured the Teddy Bears Picnic.

The day was rounded off with the Australian Welsh Male Choir, which entertained crowds at the Swanpool and District Memorial Hall.

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