AFTER four long years, the Leeton SunRice Festival finally makes its long-awaited return this weekend.
The festival was last held in 2018 before having to be cancelled last-minute in 2020 when COVID lockdowns, rules and restrictions were put in place.
However, that is all in the rear-view mirror as the town prepares to come alive throughout the Easter long weekend.
Everything kicks off on Thursday night with the official cocktail party launch at the Yanco All-Servicemen's Club, with the Penny Paniz Arts Acquisitive Competition also holding its opening night and announcing winners on Thursday night.
The exhibition for this event will be open at the Leeton Museum and Gallery throughout the long weekend.
Friday will be a relatively quiet day before everything roars to life on Easter Saturday.
Events are set to include hot air balloons (which have already started to arrive in town), the MIA Cruisers show and shine, the spectacular street parade, Festival on Mountford, the announcing of the winners of the Ambassador Quest and a special live music event in Mountford Park.
On Sunday the Leeton's biggest picnic will take place, also in Mountford Park, before the balloon glow and twilight markets excites on Sunday afternoon at the town ovals from 3pm.
Easter Monday includes the Leeton Garden Club's Open Gardens event, as well as the Riverina Skate Championships.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Don't forget to also check out all of the magnificent SunRice Festival window displays, keep an eye out for the hot air balloons competition for kids and, of course, enjoy the magic of the events with loved ones.
Festival director Julie Axtill said she was looking forward to a big weekend that promises something for everyone.
"Everything is ready to go, it's a hectic week, but everyone is excited," she said.
"The best thing about the festival is there's something for everyone. So many of our events are free or it's spending a bit of money if you want something to eat or drink.
"I think the event I'm looking forward to most is the picnic on Easter Sunday, it's shaping up to have lots of activities, but also a time and space for a relaxing lunch with family and friends.
"We're looking forward to a big weekend for our community and visitors to town as well."
Mrs Axtill said the best place to stay up-to-date or ask questions regarding the festival was at the group's Leeton SunRice Festival Facebook page.
The committee is always looking for more helpers, so, if you enjoy this year's event consider volunteering your time for the 2024 festival.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.