Footy club marquees circulated University Oval and spectators cleared the middle third of the ground for one of Sunday's big events.
Cammi Thomas and Henry Marston - two of Launceston's best young track runners - tore down the grassy straight, winning their respective 100-metre races.
They weren't in school uniform or athletics club tops but rather representing their junior footy clubs.
Tamar Valley's Thomas and Prospect Hawks' Martson had just claimed the inaugural Northern Tasmanian Junior Football Association Gift titles.
It was part of the first edition of the innovative Footy Fest, a free Aussie Rules pre-season carnival full of fun activities for juniors.
The three-hour event was run by the NTJFA in partnership with the NTFA, Northern Tasmanian Football Umpires Association and AFL Tasmania.
New NTJFA president Josh Nast was thrilled to see all 12 clubs represented and explained how the idea came about.
"I'm absolutely in awe of everything the volunteers do ... which got me and the board thinking what can we do to elevate that and bring in something where we can try and connect a bit better with the communities," he said.
He noted it was also a chance for those thinking about playing footy to have a chat with junior clubs.
The president was stoked with the turnout of about 300 people and said it showed what footy meant to the community.
"This is the inaugural event but I hope to see this continue on and get bigger and better every year," he said.
Nast added junior participation numbers were up and the association wanted to keep that momentum going.
"We're seeing some strong growth in the NTJFA and in fact a lot of clubs are well above where they were in season 2023."
The Tasmania Football Club confirmed it would be launching its club name, colours, logo and foundation jumper on March 18 which Nast said was important for junior footy.
"We talk about connection to community, that's really going to ground us," he said.
"That's really going to say, 'hey, we are a football state and have been for hundreds of years'.
"This time we're going to show on the national stage this is what football means to us in Tasmania."
He said it was great to see kids look up to the Tasmania Devils' Talent League players who were there on Sunday.
"When you see that connection, I think the kids are really going to get behind it (the new AFL club) whether or not that's playing or just getting along and supporting their local game," he said.
Nast, who has previously been involved at East Launceston, said it was important to create an inclusive and safe environment for football.
"I know from experience working as an administrator in clubland, a lot of parents ask the question - is it a safe game?," he said.
"Of course it is, it's a very safe game and in fact it should be the game of choice for a lot of girls who we're trying to get playing more football.
"We want to make sure those parents and kids come along and see this is a whole heap of fun."
The NTJFA season starts on the weekend of March 23-24 with Friday night season openers.