EASTER in Bendigo is a jam-packed family affair where the city streets quite literally, are turned over to a carnival of celebrations with a distinct family theme, and something for everyone.

It’s a great occasion for families to unite and to enjoy some of the huge range of attractions and events being staged across the weekend in what it the biggest weekend of the year for many of the city’s tourism and hospitality providers.

While the religious elements traditionally associated with what remains one of the most sacred times of the year for many may have dwindled in recent years, Easter remains an undisputed showcase of Bendigo at its absolute best.

The celebrations of colour, the city’s rich and proud heritage and the welcoming community that is Bendigo will be front and centre over the next four days.

Sun Loong’s final solo appearance is guaranteed to be a memorable experience for more than just the local Chinese community, as the world’s largest Imperial dragon once again winds his way through the city’s crowded streets as part of a tradition that is now part of folklore.

None of this can happen without the leadership and dedication of organisations such as the Bendigo Chinese Association, and the Bendigo Easter Fair Society, the community-led, not for profit organisation that has staged the Easter Festival since 1871, making

Easter in Bendigo the longest, continuously running community festival in Australia.

In thanking those who work so hard to make Easter the success it is in Bendigo, we also wish all readers a safe and happy Easter

Finally, there are few families who can claim to match the contribution made to this city over such a long time as the Hazeldene family has, under the stewardship of Dick Hazeldene for much of this time.

The Hazeldene family has provided employment to thousands of Bendigo residents, and others in the central and northern Victoria region.

They have been significant and very generous contributors to local charities and community organisations, including for many years the annual Bendigo Easter Festival, and the traditions instilled in the current generation of family leaders is a lasting legacy of Dick Hazeldene and his wife, Mavis.

From humble beginnings, Mr Hazeldene built a business that today continues to flourish under the leadership of his children, and remains a highly successful family run multi-million dollar operation which has grown to become a significant player in the national and international markets in which it operates.

Vale Dick Hazeldene.