IT'S been a staple on Ballarat's event calendar for more than 100 years, but the return of Royal South Street's Calisthenics Competition to Her Majesty's Theatre is set to be a huge success and not just for those on stage.
Over the coming four weeks, more than 3600 competitors will take to the renovated stage from all around Australia.
But while the prestige of a being a Royal South Street champion will be the focus for the dedicated performers, off stage, Ballarat's businesses will also be smiling.
In all, more than 10,000 nights will be booked at accommodation providers all around town, throw in restaurant bookings, even hall hire for rehearsals and the advantages to the city are there to see.
Royal South Street Society Calisthenics Committee chair Pam McKee said the month ahead would be a boon for the city.
"We've got 3640 competitors over four weeks but you could easily triple it 10,000 booked nights when you factor in parents and friends who will also come along and stay in town.
"Then you have all the people buying tickets, going across the road to have a coffee or meal at Craig's, coffee shops.
"We have some coming in buses but there will be teams that will come and stay for several nights. Those temas will need to find a hall, organise meals, even hire local buses, fill up at local petrol stations, it all adds to the economy of the city."
The City of Ballarat said the economic impact of the Royal South Street Eisteddfod ranges from $4.5 million up to $6.5 million annually.
"It is Ballarat's biggest event with the largest economic impact because it runs for such a long time each year," a spokesperson said.
"This economic impact feeds directly back into the hospitality and accommodation sectors, with 30,000-plus people converging on Her Majesty's Theatre and the Ballarat CBD."
While many traditional sports have shrunk or disappeared over the past 100 years, Calisthenics is a sport which has continued to grow.
"It appeals to families of young people and it's particularly popular in growing suburbs of Melbourne," Ms McKee said. "One of the easiest things to do is to set up a calisthenics club.
"It's inclusive, it teaches life skills, promotes physical activity and poise, coordination, working as a team, musical appreciation, all of those things.
"In all we'll have over 1850 items being performed this year."
Ms McKee said being back at Her Majesty's Theatre was special.
"It's such a privilege to sit in the audience and witness the amazing talent of all the performers who enter the stage," she said.
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