AFTER a lifetime of involvement, the last 21 as chairman, Reg Harry knows just about all there is to know about Port Fairy's Moyneyana Festival.
But on Sunday evening, Mr Harry got to see the festival’s signature event, the New Year's Eve parade, from a new vantage point.
Mr Harry was given the honour of sitting in the lead car for the parade.
He was joined by Moyneyana Festival founder John Brophy.
Mr Harry said he was humbled to be part of the parade.
"That was the first time I have ever been in a vehicle in the parade," Mr Harry said.
"It certainly gives you a different look at everything.
"One thing that really stood out was how many young families were in the crowd.
"It was great to see everyone enjoying the parade, that's what it's all about."
Mr Harry said many long-time festival observers said it was the biggest crowd they had seen in the town on New Year's Eve. This is the 70th year of the Moyneyana Festival.
He said the parade has become such a big event thanks to the support of the Port Fairy community.
"The floats were of a very high standard again this year with lots of community groups and sporting clubs in the town putting in entries," he said.
Mr Harry said despite a record crowd, the night passed without a major incident.
He congratulated the big crowds for their behaviour and said the Moyneyana Festival committee works hard to play its part in ensuring a family-friendly atmosphere is maintained.
"We always try and have plenty happening after the parade to keep people entertained," Mr Harry said.
"The Damian Howard Band played on Fiddler's Green and they were very popular.
"The fireworks at midnight were a highlight, as they always are."
While the old year went out with a bang, there were plenty of hand to make sure the first day of 2018 was one to remember. A large crowd gathered at the Moyne River for the annual Wooden Boat Parade and the Duck Derby.
Both Port Fairy and visiting wooden vessels took their turn in the sun, cruising down the river in front of an appreciative audience.
All 1000 ducks were sold prior to the Duck Derby starting with the first rubber duck over the line belonging to Pam Sheehan.
In the lead-up to the big race, there was a corporate duck race with 55 businesses having entered. The winner was Bank & Co.
The Duck Derby was a fundraiser for the Port Fairy Surf Life Saving Club.