Eager early morning walkers and shoppers are taking a step back in time as they amble along Auburn Street.
Old Lilac Festival photos mounted in shop windows catch their eye and give a glimpse of the event's heyday and continuing popularity.
The Rogers and Knowlman's store floats, a poster of past Lilac Queens and packed street parades are rekindling enthusiasm for this long weekend's event.
"Anybody who thinks the Lilac festival is no longer relevant is kidding themselves," longtime patron and former Goulburn City Mayor Tony Lamarra said.
"It's unique and unites the people of Goulburn for a common goal."
The current committee think so too. New members have joined the re-energised group in recent years, headed by Cr Carol James as president.
COVID has once again thrown up challenges but vice-president Dan Strickland said it was full steam ahead for the October 2, 3 and 4 festival. It will mark the fixture's 70th anniversary.
Events will be held in a COVID-safe way and screened on the Lilac City Festival's Facebook page for the second year. The Goulburn Post will also cover the festival.
Mr Strickland said the committee wanted something special for the 70th anniversary that involved families.
"But when that wasn't to be we still wanted to take it out to the community," he said.
"A virtual festival opens it to people across the world. It blew me away last year the comments we received from former Goulburn people about the festival and their memories. It was really nice to see."
Mayor Bob Kirk, 2019/2020 Lilac Queen April Watson and Mr Lamarra will open the event at 11am Saturday at Belmore Park's rotunda.
The Lilac Queen, prince and princess will be announced at the same time.
This year, Jenna D'Apice, Brittany Bryant and Shanay Little are vying for the Queen honour. They've been busy selling raffle tickets and holding other fundraisers. The money goes to charity and towards festival organisation.
"We've had a lot of community support," Mr Strickland said.
"Business is struggling but they've come on board and given great raffle prizes to the Queen candidates. That in itself is testament to how important the festival is to them. They know that Goulburn will return the favour and we do encourage everyone to shop local."
In addition, Paul Barling, who designed the winning 1951 emblem for the inaugural festival, has drawn a new logo with some technological help from Jasper Dorman.
Mr Strickland will screen an interview with the 91-year-old Mr Barling across the weekend.
The festival committee's youngest member, Sam Ross, has coordinated school band performances for the Facebook page. These will replace the intended live appearances.
Goulburn Soroptimists Club has assisted with the window display and the local garden club has judged the garden competition. Winners will be announced on Sunday after an 11am service of blessing.
All the while, people have shared their memories and photos of the popular event on the page.
Mr Strickland said the festival's organisation took a great deal of behind the scenes planning but he was heartened by the community support.
"People can stay tuned to our Facebook page over the weekend," he said.
"The beauty of it is that if people miss anything, they can still check it out next week. In fact it will be there forever."
The committee is hoping to stage a live event next year.
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