CROWDS turned out Saturday to Maffra’s 56th annual Mardi Gras, at which Maffra Primary School entrant Stephanie Cameron was named champion, raising $46,933.57.
Overall entrants managed to raise $152,162.24, a feat Maffra Mari Gras committee president Graeme Hemming described as impressive.
Mr Hemming said this year’s entrants had managed to raise more money than competitors of recent years.
In her thank-you speech, Ms Cameron thanked the families and businesses who contributed their time, effort, and goods in aid of the group’s fundraising efforts, saying it never expected to raise so much money.
Boisdale-Briagolong Football-Netball Club, which raised $40,703.27 for second place, were awarded the trophy for best overall parade float.
In keeping with the event’s theme of nursery rhymes and fairytales club members dressed up as characters from Alice in Wonderland, with more than a few blokes donning frocks for the occasion.
Sale Neighbourhood House received a trophy for best community float, coming in at fourth overall with $16,285.13 raised, outdone by Maffra Football-Netball Club with a total of $33,925.82.
Sale City Football-Netball Club raised $12,485.40 for fifth place.
And Maffra and District Landcare and Rail Trail trailed into sixth with $1830.05.
For the most part the rain managed to hold off, drizzling slightly in the afternoon and at the end of the parade, getting heavier as the winners were announced.
Some stall holders took the warning early, fleeing to higher ground when the weather first began to turn.
Band, The Nigellas played a good dose of country tunes, favouring Irish numbers in the lead up to St Patrick’s Day on Sunday, as families enjoyed the sideshows and sausage sizzle.