Organisers of the second annual Creekside Food Fest are expecting people from across Victoria to converge on Warracknabeal for one of Victoria's growing number of successful food and wine events.
Kevin and Sally Gebert, who made a creek-change to Warracknabeal from inner-city Sydney in 2011, said the Sunday, May 25 event was shaping up to be bigger and better than last year.
They've had enquiries from areas including Bendigo, Ballarat and Melbourne and from across the Wimmera and Mallee.
The Food Fest starts at noon in the hotel's waterfront beer garden. Guests will enjoy food from live cooking stations with 15 different types of food including dessert and lolly bars, beer and wine tastings and live entertainment by local musicians Craig Somers and Accousticus Stomp.
Children's activities include a jumping castle, face painting by Fairy Victoria and juggling by Alan Clark. The event will finish with fireworks at 7.30pm. Entry is free with food available from $2.50 per plate.
Sally said the Creekside Food Fest was another regular event that attracted new people and showcased what a special part of regional Victoria Warracknabeal was.
"We are so excited to make this an annual event after the huge success of last year," Sally said.
"Warracknabeal is such a vibrant regional community and we are thrilled to be a part of it and contributing to the local economy through staging a big event like this. Once people come to Warracknabeal and see what's on offer, they will keep coming back."
The name Food Fest builds on Warracknabeal's successful Y-Fest, which started as a small festival 16 years ago. Y-Fest has now grown to one of the Wimmera's biggest Easter events and attracts thousands of people to the wheat belt town.
Sally said the Creekside Food Fest was also an opportunity to say thank you to the place they now called home.
"Moving to the Wimmera has been life-changing move for our family," she said.
"Our son Cody has heaps more friends and says there's lots more to do in Warracknabeal than in Sydney. And for myself and Kevin, the best part is feeling like we are making a valuable contribution to the community."
The event also builds on the family's involvement in a Victorian Government 'Goodmove' campaign that aims to attract people from the cities into regional areas like the Wimmera. Sally was one of several Wimmera representatives to attend the Regional Living Expo in Melbourne last month.
Last year's Food Fest coincided with the unveiling of a new name for the historic hotel, originally built in 1870. Sally said locals and visitors had embraced the change from the Commercial Hotel to The Creekside Hotel, which highlighted it being the only waterfront hotel in the Wimmera.