Fabulous festival

The Heart of the Murray's food bowl will be on show this weekend at the annual Swan Hill Food and Wine Festival on the banks of the Murray River.

Crowds enjoy live music on the banks of the Murray River. Picture: JADE BATE

Crowds enjoy live music on the banks of the Murray River. Picture: JADE BATE

One of the biggest food events in regional Victoria returns to Pioneer Settlement from this long weekend March 9-11, which will play host to three days of festivities, tastings and live entertainment for the whole family.

Swan Hill Incorporated marketing co-ordinator Julie Wiggins said the show was about celebrating our proud heritage as a pioneer city and warm country hospitality.

The festival will commence with an opening night cruise along the Murray River on Friday evening and conclude with produce and design market and a closing night cruise on Sunday.

On both nights, participants will board the PS Pyap and enjoy a spectacular Mallee sunset while enjoying wines from local winemaker Andrew Peace and finger food from the award-winning Spoons Riverside.

The official festival will run on Saturday at the Pioneer Settlement, where the Swan Hill region's growers, winemakers, producers and restaurateurs will showcase their offerings to thousands of local residents and visitors throughout the day.

Swan Hill businesses will also be organising food and wine-related events.

Highlights include a tasting menu with matching wines at Spoons Riverside, a special signature dinner at Java Spice and a four-course Italian feast by Quo Vadis called Festa di Trent'anni (Festival of Thirty Years) to commemorate the Tripodi family's three decades of involvement with the business.

The weekend, however, won't just be about food and wine. A live entertainment stage will be set up for Saturday's festivities, featuring an impressive line-up of popular musicians including Ross Wilson, co-founder and frontman of the long-standing rock groups Daddy Cool and Mondo Rock, Peta Evans Taylor and Jeff Gibson.

Jeff will also be the special guest performer on board the opening and closing night cruises. Meanwhile, world-renowned ABBA tribute band Björn Again will be playing a special concert at the Swan Hill Town Hall.

"The festival is one of the leading food and wine events in regional Victoria," Ms Wiggins said.

"The Swan Hill region has a vibrant community, incredible food and a bounty of amazing local produce, all surrounded by the mighty Murray River. We are looking forward to showcasing all this to our visitors."

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