Glimpses of what life was back before the world was encompassed by coronavirus will return this weekend.
Mona Foma is back, and Launceston couldn't be happier.
A couple of years ago this editorial predicted that Launceston would be, if not already, the event capital of Tasmania.
There was nothing we couldn't do. We have AFL games with respectable crowds given some of the matches, Big Bash games with sell-out or near capacity crowds, Red Hot Summer concert series, the ever-popular (and much missed in its original form) Festivale, various national sports championships for juniors, international events in the form of tennis and mountain biking in Derby. The Transplant Games and the national Special Olympics are also marked for Launceston in coming years.
We are not only great at attracting high calibre events, but we can also produce them. Mona Foma is case in point. The thought-provoking and accessible event always attract a crowd of locals as well as mainlanders.
This year, the event couldn't have come at a better time to help welcome summer and lift morale after so many events in our calendar were cancelled.
While MoFo may be a little different in terms of the number of events and access, thanks to social distancing, it still brings with it the charm, wonder and intrigue that we come to expect from anything David Walsh and his team at Mona produce.
During the year of a global pandemic where events were hard hit, the Launceston council just happened to explore its cultural strategy. Somewhat a good time to do so as many links to culture, like sport and events, were paused.
The cultural strategy highlighted the events space and the many opportunities attached to developing the city's culture. This could include improving the CBD nightlife and, importantly, improved acknowledgement of the nation's First People.
Mona Foma choosing to operate in the current climate offers relief after a long 12 months and optimism to rebuild and embrace our culture.