Launceston's Civic Square was abuzz on Sunday afternoon, with patrons enjoying the sunshine and dancing up a storm at the Thai Food & Culture Festival.
Hosted by the the Thai Association of Tasmania, it was the third festival of its kind in Launceston, and the first since the pandemic began.
It was also the first time the festival was held outdoors, with organising committee member Pearl Chinthammit thankful that the sun had come out for the day.
"We were so nervous, we were looking at the weather forecast everyday," she said.
"But it's been beautiful and everyone is enjoying the sunshine."
Falling on the same weekend as Loy Krathong, or the Floating Lantern Festival, the event aimed to showcase the authentic food and culture of Thailand and provide the local Thai community a place to celebrate the occasion.
Ms Chinthammit said the success of the 2021 festival had surpassed expectations and she was thrilled to see festival attendees of all ages enjoying Thai cuisine and dancing to traditional music.
"It's been overwhelming, we've had a lot of people here today," she said.
"There's been a lot of support from the community, the turn out has been great.
"It's been so much bigger than we expected."
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Ms Chinthammit said the performances throughout the day were a personal highlight, but the abundance of food stalls, children's' activities and the traditional Thai shoulder massage stations had also proven popular.
The success of the event was a welcome surprise for the event organisers, who have hopes of growing the festival into a major annual event for Launceston
Run entirely by a team of volunteers from the Tasmanian Thai community, Ms Chinthammit said the popularity of the festival gave the community hope that the event could become bigger in the future.
"We think it's a great idea for the Launceston community to experience a mini Thai Festival here," she said.
"In Melbourne and Sydney they have giant festivals with thousands of people.
"We would love to eventually bring that to Tasmania."
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