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Published on 03 April 2014
Up to 10,000 visitors and more than 130 exhibitors are expected to attend the third Regional Victoria Living Expo, planned for the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 11-13 April.
The free event is a four-year Victorian Government commitment aimed at driving population and investment growth in rural and regional areas.
All of Victoria’s 48 rural and regional councils take part.
Loddon Shire has enjoyed its participation these last two years, capping a highly successful 2013 effort with the coveted award of Best Council Stand.
Staff members manning Council’s site last year soon exhausted their stocks of printed material and promotional DVDs, as expo visitors plied them with questions about house prices, work and education options, lifestyle factors and more.
A new initiative this time is Council’s sponsorship of a separate stand for the Boort Tourism Group, which will use the opportunity to showcase the town and district.
This year’s event includes an arts and culture program, kids’ interactive zone, special appearances, sports precinct, seminars, competitions and food and wine samples to try.
The performing arts program includes Ella Hooper, the Flying Fruit Fly Circus, bluegrass band The Kissin’ Cousins, Sweet Mona’s Choir, Ballarat group Existdance, the Croatian Cultural Artistic Association and roving entertainers.
There will be special appearances by musician and media personality Geoff “Coxy” Cox, AFL legends Robert DiPierdomenico and Garry Lyon, Melbourne Vixens netball vice-captain Madison Browne, singer/songwriter Ella Hooper and sporting mascots Sledge, Starman and Foxy Vixen.
Other features of the weekend include a busy seminar program, a sports area focused on football, cricket, tennis and netball and an Interactive Zone for the kids, with Polyglot Theatre’s “Paper Planet” display, face painting and drawing.
Victoria’s Regional Pantry, presented by Coles, will bring together a selection of regional Victoria’s finest produce for patrons to sample.
Council CEO John McLinden said Loddon Shire was keenly looking forward to the opportunity of taking part in this year’s event.
“Last year was a highly successful one for us and we’ve been working to make this year’s effort even better,” he said.
“Loddon has so much to offer people of all ages and we hope to speak to as many expo visitors as we can about the values and attractions of this area.
“I thank the Council staff who have already committed themselves to spending their weekend in Melbourne to support their Shire – it’s greatly appreciated.”
As a member of the Murray River Group of Councils, the Shire also takes part in a special promotion offering a $4000 houseboat holiday on the Murray River as the prize.