PREPARATIONS are well underway for one of the Wimmera's most popular annual events.
Rupanyup Major Events' Barley Banquet will see hundreds of people flock to the small wheatbelt town on Saturday for a day of dining and celebrating in a barley crop.
Group president Brad Teasdale said everything was coming together for the event.
"Preparations are coming along nicely; this weekend has really come around quickly. The marquee will be set up on Wednesday so it will be flat out for the next few days," he said.
The Barley Banquet started in 1995. It is a major fundraiser for Rupanyup and has raised more than $250,000 for local projects and community services.
Mr Teasdale said money raised this year would be donated towards a wooden street art project for Cromie Street, Rupanyup.
There are 25 people on the Rupanyup Major Events committee.
"We're a pretty strong committee and the average age of members is about 30," Mr Teasdale said.
"In a lot of small communities, the younger people aren't sticking around, so it's important that we have an event like this to celebrate the region and make it special. It's a really important event for the town."
The Barley Banquet isn't the only event of it's kind in the Wimmera.
Ararat hosts Mellow in the Yellow every year, while Donald hosts Cuisine In The Crop. Earlier this year, Murtoa Events organised the inaugural Wine and Dine in the Stick Shed which was deemed a success.
"It's great to see so many of these kind of events popping up. Although the Barley Banquet wasn't a completely original idea - I believe there was something similar in Nhill - it shows that it has been a success as it's been going for so long," Mr Teasdale said.
He said the committee was been flat out with preparations.
"It's been a pretty busy few weeks for us," he said.
"Most committee members are farmers so they have been busy harvesting hay. The last few meetings have been quiet but everyone is stepping up and coming together to help with these final stages."
He said the famous barley crop was looking healthy.
"It's looking really good and green. It's about hip height on me, so it's reasonably tall," he said.
"It will definitely be better than last year's. There have been quite a few years recently when the crop looked pretty much ready to harvest."
A total of 400 tickets were available for this year's event, including those for sponsors. Tickets sold out in less than a day.
Mr Teasdale said he wanted to thank the Wimmera community and the event's sponsors for the ongoing success of the Barley Banquet.
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