It might be autumn but there was a definite spring in the step to be seen and felt around Wagga through the last week.
And so there should have been.
The weather gods were smiling down, holding Wagga's shiver-inducing winter at bay just a little longer.
The city has just put on a spectacular show - for residents and visitors alike - over the three days we would have partied through twelve months ago before it was ripped away by COVID-19, driving us indoors and into relatively sedate life.
No punters at the races. No NRL at Equex. No marchouts at Kapooka. They were snatched from our grasp as the pandemic took hold.
Last year's Gold Cup day, while ran in front of no one, was held in freezing conditions, with howling winds and rain at times coming in sideways. More than 50mm fell in 48 hours. It would have been a tough day at the track.
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Could there be a starker contrast to Friday, where the sun's rays beamed through cloudless blue skies and the daytime temperature didn't drop below 20 degrees again until dusk?
It's almost like the carnival's triumphant return was meant to be.
Certainly there were some differences - QR codes, anyone? - but on the whole it was a joyous occasion for all who were in their finest at the track, and by all accounts were very well-behaved.
The buzz along Baylis Street on Friday night, as racegoers continued in the post-Cup revelry, was infectious.
Hungry diners devoured much-needed feasts at restaurant tables, lines to get into CBD pubs stretched around corners and dancefloors were the hottest spots in town.
For 7000 more, they got to do it all again on Saturday - though the outfits were certainly more of the heart on your sleeve variety as Raiders and Knights fans broke out their best supporter's gear.
And of course, Mother's Day. The perfect picnic weather hung around and the city's parks were packed as the number one lady in everyone's life had their extra special day yesterday.
Wagga, take a bow. It's been wonderful.
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