The Moyneyana Festival committee was forced to pivot their usual plans for the 2020/21 calendar of events due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In place of the usual New Year's Eve parade and live music events, the committee came up with a range of COVIDSafe activities for children and families to explore during a shortened program scheduled.
But one event that remained, was the race that stops Port Fairy, albeit a little different.
After a year like no other, the festival committee kept its annual Duck Derby tradition alive, holding the race in a COVID-safe format without crowds on New Year's Day.
In previous years, the ducks would race along the Moyne River and the first duck over the line would be declared the winner, but this year they were released into the Port Fairy beach making the competition harder.
Event organisers pivoted the race to a virtual format and participants watched it unfold through a Facebook page.
In first place, and the winner of $800 was Paul Macpherson, Charlotte Versace's duck came second and she won $300 and in third was Jude O'Brien who received $200. The corporate duck winner was Houze of Hair's Sue Tieman.
The 16th Duck Derby continued to raise funds for the Port Fairy Surf Life Saving Club and despite the different set-up, organisers sold all 1500 ducks for $5 and 54 corporate ducks at a reduced price of $50.
The New Year's Eve fireworks were also a success and made Port Fairy the only south-west town to send out 2020 with a bang.
The shortened program also features a History Walk 'n' Chalk around the town which describes historical facts of buildings and events, plenty of activity sheets and do-it-yourself projects to keep the little ones entertained and an Emergency Services Day.
The Moyneyana Festival runs until January 10 with craft show bags, children's yoga and an SES Day still to come. To find out more about the events schedule or for information head to facebook.com/MoyneyanaFestival
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