WARRNAMBOOL's commemorative mid-morning Anzac Day march has been called off amid COVID-19 fears for the third year in a row.
However, the dawn service, veterans' march and gunfire breakfast will still go ahead.
Organisers made the decision to pull the pin on the march in early December in the face of rising Omicron numbers and say it's now too late for a change of heart, despite eased pandemic restrictions.
Warrnambool RSL president Mike Bellamy said the large crowd numbers and multiple organisations normally involved meant the club simply did not have enough resources to stage the march in a controlled environment.
"It's the largest service in the region and it's important that it be held in a controlled environment, which is why we have taken this decision," he said.
"There's a lot of planning that goes into these things and we weren't sure back then what was going to happen with the new variant. Our committee made the decision to take the cautionary approach."
The 10.45am Liebig Street march usually attracts district schools, community and service organisations.
Mr Bellamy said the RSL was disappointed it would not be held, but it was simply too risky.
"I would prefer to not run it and take the criticism than be responsible for a super-spreader event," he said. "We certainly will be back next year, God willing."
The dawn service will be held at the later time of 6.30am to allow for more members of the general public to attend. Former defence force officer and commentator Catherine McGregor will be among the guests.
Mr Bellamy said up to 3000 people were expected to attend the service which would include a welcome to country and smoking ceremony as part of the branch's push for greater acknowledgement of Indigenous service.
Naval wartime participation would also be a focus of this year's service.
Wreath-laying would be limited to defence and service organisations. Schools and other individuals would be welcome to lay wreaths later in the day.
A $10 gunfire breakfast at the RSL after the service will be open to the public.
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