Stawell was transformed into a scene many people had not seen before, with car parks full, Main Street crammed with visitors and residents, the Gift had arrived and the town was abuzz.
StawellBiz president Chris Waack said it was one of the town’s busiest Easter weekends.
“There seems to be a lot more people in the area than normal this Easter,” he said.
“Cafes and shops seemed full for most of the weekend and StawellBiz’s Easter Sensation on Main Street was a huge success.
“We had solid crowds right throughout the day and on both ends of the street.”
Mr Waack said there was an exciting variety of activities scheduled at the weekend and it started on Good Friday, with the town’s first football match on the public holiday.
“This has got to be one of the biggest Easters,” he said.
“We have had amazing weather, the Good Friday football, the races; it was just an exciting weekend.”
Mr Waack said the influx of visitors would help contribute to an economic boom.
“It helps to level out all the quiet times throughout the year, so we really need significant events like the Stawell Gift to help our businesses out,” he said.
“Many accommodation places were booked out and I noticed more people than I have ever seen down at the caravan parks.”
Stawell Grampians Gate Caravan Park’s Marianne Braam said about 700 people stayed at her site.
“This year was an absolute boomer,” she said.
“I did about 250 check-ins and I average three people per check in so we are looking at about 700 people.”
Ms Braam said there could have been an extra 100 check ins on top of the 700.
“We stopped bookings a week before and knocked back between 15-20 people on both Thursday and Friday,” she said.
“We were still knocking people back on Saturday and Sunday as well, so we probably knocked back around 100 people.”
She also said many re-booked for next year.
“Smart choice, Stawell just turned it on this year, it is a great time of the year to be in the region.”