THE Rupanyup community is gearing up to celebrate its 150th birthday.
Hundreds of visitors are expected to flock to the small Wimmera town for four days of festivities from March 6 to 9.
Events include the return of the Rupanyup Show, a farmer's market and a Sunset Banquet, similar to the town's famous Barley Banquet.
The Rupanyup 150th Celebration committee was formed 18 months ago. Committee chairman Russell Dunlop said the event would coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Rupanyup Memorial Hall.
"It's good for a small community to get together and celebrate what's great about the town. This celebration is also a chance for people with a connection to Rupanyup to come back," Mr Dunlop said.
Committee member Brad Teasdale said the Sunset Banquet on March 8 would be one of the event highlights.
"It will be a lot smaller than our annual Barley Banquet and have a bit more of a laid-back atmosphere," he said.
"Our last all-town celebration was for Rupanyup's 130th birthday 20 years ago. Back then the banquet had only been going for a few years; it has grown so much since then.
"We wanted to reflect and pay tribute to how much the banquet has impacted the town; it's one of the biggest things to happen here. The banquet will also give younger people coming to the celebrations something to enjoy."
He said another highlight would be a film night at the Rupanyup Memorial Hall on March 7.
"It will feature a collection of old films of the town which were taken by my grandpa John Teasdale; he was never without a camera in his hand," he said.
Mr Teasdale said the celebrations would also see the return of the Rupanyup Show and the introduction of the Rupanyup Farmer's Market.
"There hasn't been a show for quite a few years. The town's A and P society pretty much re-formed to put this years show on," he said.
The last show was held in 2017.
He said it was difficult to know how many people would attend the celebrations.
"We're trying to create a mailing list of former residents. We have no idea how many people will come - it could be between 500 to 1000," he said.
"People from across the country have already told us they are coming back, and some are coming who have never even been to Rupanyup before."
He said visitors would stay at the town's caravan park, which was almost booked out, and in surrounding towns.
Resident Jo Burke has compiled a book about the town's history, which will be on sale at during the festivities.
Chainsaw art from Gippsland artist John Brady will be unveiled out the front of the Rupanyup Memorial Hall at a civic reception on Friday, March 6 to mark the official opening of the event.
Mr Teasdale said people interested in learning more about Rupanyup's 150th birthday celebrations could email firstname.lastname@example.org or head to the event's Facebook page @Rupanyup 150 in 2020.
Rupanyup's only pub the Commercial Hotel has been closed since August 2018. New owners Chris and Debbie Ormrod purchased the property last year and are currently renovating the building.
Speaking to the Mail-Times in December, Mr and Mrs Ormrod said they hoped to have the hotel open for meals on weekends by March.
Rupanyup's 150th birthday itinerary highlights:
- March 6, 7pm: Film night featuring The Farmer's Cinematheque at Rupanyup Memorial Hall
- March 7, 10am to 4pm: Farmer's market at Rupanyup Recreation Reserve
- March 7, 10am to 4pm: Rupanyup Show at Rupanyup Recreation Reserve
- March 7, 7.30pm: Gala at Rupanyup Memorial Hall
- March 8, 6pm: Sunset Banquet
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