Sunny skies, music and plenty of chocolate was the perfect way for many to spend the last day of the Easter River Beach Festival on Sunday.
Hundreds flocked to Thompsons Beach for the hotly-contested annual duck race, as well as an Easter egg scramble, petting zoo, sandcastle competition, musical entertainment and more.
Organisers said the petting zoo and jumping castle were popular with lots of smiling children with painted faces enjoying the day, while the sack and bunny hop races were hilarious to watch.
The ‘Joyful Giraffe & Friends’ was the judges’ choice for the sandcastle building competition, with lots taking advantage of the free fun to be had on Australia’s largest inland beach including delicious food and entertainment from Luke Dewing.
Cobram Barooga Business Tourism Development president Don Rudd said the small but enthusiastic committee were ‘eggstatic’ with the day’s result.
‘‘There was a great blend of visitors and locals. Some visitors seeing the beach and duck race for the first time could not believe that Cobram Barooga region had so much to offer,’’ Mr Rudd said.
Luke Rawson’s number 525 duck crossed the finish line on the Murray River in first place to earn him $1000, followed by number 1612 in second place for Alyse Goldsworthy worth $300 and in third place for $100 was number 703 for Kelly Rummey.
A first in a few years was that all three winners of the duck race were there for the race to collect the prize money.
‘‘The duck wranglers on the river who have the huge task collecting the 2000 ducks from the water after they had swum the 500m had their work cut out,’’ Mr Rudd said.
‘‘The sight of the beach lined with people all cheering on their duck is becoming a Cobram Easter Sunday tradition.’’
The committee urged people to lock the event in their diaries for next year, with plans for it to be even bigger and better.
Mr Rudd invited local tourism operators and businesses to contact him at the Cobram Hotel to join the committee of the CBBTD.
‘‘Don’t just say things don’t happen in town ... get to a meeting and help make it happen,’’ he said.