An iconic event that was almost brought to its knees has fought back with a productive summer.
Doubts hung over Port Fairy's Moyneyana Festival, with a shortage of volunteers the main concern.
But the appointment of Naomi Harman as the event coordinator generated the momentum it had sought, with a successful three-week program taking place from Christmas Eve.
Much was riding on the signature event of the festival, the New Year's Eve parade.
Thousands of people turned out to witness the parade and, later, fireworks to ensure the Moyneyana Festival went into 2023 at full steam.
Ms Harman said festival activities and events in the first two weeks of the year were well attended.
"Everything went smoothly on New Year's Eve, which was great," Ms Harman said.
"We had a lot of help from the SES and the Lions club who had been involved in running the parade before.
"It was a good chance for us to see how it is done.
"There were a lot of people around town over the new year period and it was good to have activities on the green for them to do."
On Saturday it was announced Warrnambool's Wunta Fiesta would not run in 2023 due to a lack of volunteers.
This year's Moyneyana Festival ran for three weeks, one less than it had pre-COVID.
Ms Harman said the aim was to go back to a month-long campaign for the festival in 2023/24.
"This year we decided to concentrate on what we had the resources to do and do everything the best we could," Ms Harman said.
"We would be really keen to go back to finishing on Australia Day next year, but that will be dependent on the support we can get.
"Sponsorship has been down the last few years because we didn't want to go knocking on doors with businesses doing it hard through COVID.
"Hopefully we can source some more sponsorship so we can get those extra events to cover another week."
Ms Harman was also hopeful of landing some more volunteers to help with the festival.
She said she had received a number of expressions of interest from people who may be willing to help in certain areas.
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