2011 Easter awakening of the dragon. Photo: Andrew Perryman

THE countdown to Easter officially kicked off this week with the launch of the 2018 Bendigo Easter Festival program.

This year’s festival again features a variety of family-friendly events, from March 30 to April 2.

The traditional parades, fireworks and a stack of children’s events will again take centre stage, with Carnival Central returning to the CBD between Lyttleton Terrace and McCrae Street.

Meanwhile, the Bull Street Music Festival, Rotary Easter Art Show and Emerge Cultural Hub provide something for the adults.

“There are lots of great activities for kids of all ages, teenagers and adults,” festival committee chair Rod Fyffe said.

Also expanding this year is the Vision Australia Easter Egg Hunt, which will be held over two days.

“Easter is a special time in Bendigo and the Easter festival is synonymous with all the best Bendigo has to offer. We hope our community enjoys the 148th Bendigo Easter Festival,” Cr Fyffe said.

The program is available from the Bendigo Visitor Centre, City of Greater Bendigo offices or online at www.bendigoeasterfestival.org.au