THE usually quiet and understated coastal town of Peterborough was a main attraction in the south-west yesterday when it hosted its first ever festival.
Titled the Peterborough Seaside Festival, co-ordinator Christine Norton estimated a crowd of hundreds attended.
In the early hours of the festival it was hard to find a park near the foreshore action.
There was children’s entertainment, more than 20 market stalls including local products, activities on the water and live entertainment.
Parks Victoria and the SES were just some of the organisations providing educational information to patrons.
Ms Norton said the children’s beach boogie triathlon was a success with about 100 participants.
Canoe championships took place on Curdies River and participating teams included Moyne Shire youth development officer Geraldine Moloney’s youth council.
Mrs Moloney said the day was a positive experience for young people in the region.
“It’s really good timing having it from 3pm to 10pm and also in the summertime,” she said. “If you look at the crowd you can see there are a lot of people aged between 12 and 24.”
She said the youth council had been looking forward to the event and she hoped it would become an annual fixture on the town’s calendar.
Peterborough resident of 40 years, Lorna Bourke, said the festival was good news for the region.
“Everyone has been really friendly and they’re not locals. They mostly seem to be holidaymakers,” Mrs Bourke said. “There was something like this a couple of years ago but it was nothing as grand as this.”
Ms Norton said she planned for the event to become annual. “We’ve got funding from Origin for the next two years, so it’s definitely happening again. Next year it will be Friday the 10th of January,” she said.
Headline act Rebecca Barnard returned to her childhood holiday destination to perform later in the evening, along with local acts including Jess McKinnon, James Matthews and Brett Clarke with band.
At 10pm, fireworks lit up Peterborough skies to signal the end of the festivities.