For the first time since 2019, Port Fairy will enter the Queen's Birthday long weekend unrestricted, but without one of its annual events.
The Port Fairy Winter Weekends will not be held this year, with organisers pausing the program to concentrate on a re-start in 2023.
One of the town's signature events, the Dachshund Dash is part of the collateral damage of the winter weekends cancellation.
While Port Fairy's reputation as a long weekend destination is expected to attract many visitors from outside the region, the vacancy left by the Dachshund Dash and an official winter weekends program could have an impact on day-tripper traffic.
Rebecca Nelson from Rebecca's Cafe in Port Fairy said it was difficult to predict what laid ahead this weekend.
"It's hard to know what to expect," Ms Nelson said.
"In the past before COVID and with the winter weekends program it has been a really big weekend.
"I think a lot of people will still come for the long weekend, but without things like the Dachshund Dash, day visits might be down.
"The other thing to factor as far as the unknown is that not every business will be open, some are still closing for public holidays due to staff shortages."
Port Fairy Big 4 Caravan Park proprietor and member of Port Fairy Tourism Inc, Jenni Hider-Smith, said while no winter weekends was a blow, the lure of the town remained strong.
She said accommodation bookings were healthy.
"This year people have booked earlier than normal," she said.
"After the last few years, people are keen to get away and Port Fairy is still very popular as a long weekend destination."
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