Huge crowds turned out for Cobram Barooga's River Beaches Festival, which featured a special splash for 2000 rubber ducks.ROB HENSON April 24, 2014 3:54am
Funds raised: Peter from Rochester (right) was the highest bidder ($130) for the special black duck, which was auctioned by Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy.
One of the Easter weekend’s biggest crowds of visitors and locals was recorded for the Cobram-Barooga Easter River Beaches Festival on Sunday.
Despite the low river level and cool maximum temperature of 17°C, thousands headed to Thompsons Beach for live music, food stalls sand building competitions, animal nursery, rides and the Great Murray River Duck Race.
Originally planned to be dropped from Cobram’s new paddle-steamer Cobba, the low water level forced organisers to revert to the bridge option used in previous years.
The race ran smoothly despite one duck becoming temporarily lodged on the bridge’s underside, and a couple more being caught on snags above the water line.
Before the race, State Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy auctioned off a special black duck for $130, adding to the the fundraising total for Cobram Barooga Business and Tourism Goup.
Mr McCurdy said it was a terrific day with one of the biggest crowds he’d seen after attending the festival for at least 10 years.
‘‘There seems to be lots of visitors here this year, being a resident of the area, to my trained eye it seems like two, three visitors to every local,’’ he said.
‘‘This is as big (a crowd) as I’ve seen, especially considering the river level and the weather.
‘‘The biggest thing is people say they come to the town and there’s nothing to do, now you’ve got something for people to do.
‘‘But there’s plenty of people all along the river, from here to Yarrawonga, through to Wangaratta.’’
In regards to his placing in the duck race, Mr McCurdy said he understood his entry was ‘‘still swimming’’.
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