It's still early days yet, but confidence is building behind the Dubbo Stampede committee that 2021 will be a return to some kind of normalcy.
Consistently one of the biggest events in town for the past decade, committee president Nathan Weeks is hoping to make the event a special success in the coming months.
"We're all really excited this year, it's obviously the tenth anniversary, so it's a big year, things are looking like they'll go ahead right now," Mr Weeks said.
"We've still got to look through our COVID planning and all those kinds of things, but we're looking forward to having some good numbers there this year."
While last year's event shifted to an online-only, 'virtual' running event due to the severe restrictions that came during the usual period of planning for the August-based event, Mr Weeks said it was a success regardless.
"Last year went really well, we didn't expect the numbers we got for what was a virtual-only, online event, so it was good," Mr Weeks said.
While there's still a lot of of detail to be figured out, and plenty of plans to be refined, the Stampede's return is being pencilled in, once again, for the end of August.
Tentative plans have the event returning on August 29, at it's familiar home of the Taronga Western Plains Zoo, with all the different event lengths and competitions returning.
"Planning wise we've got most of the same committee we've had for the past couple of years, so we'll probably be back to normal this year apart from the extra things we have to take in account for the COVID changes," Mr Weeks said.
The events being held live, in person, at the Western Plains Zoo will also allow for the organising committee to bring athletes and visitors to Dubbo as they have in years past.
Many previous winners have travelled from Sydney and inter-state, something which Mr Weeks and the committee are eager to leverage to help provide for local businesses that have done it tough.
They'll even be making changes to how the event's sponsorship structure works in order to accommodate smaller businesses that might need a leg up following the trials of 2020.
"If there's anything we can do in terms of helping businesses, especially the smaller businesses who night have been involved at the levels we've operated before, that's definitely something we want to look at," Mr Weeks said.
"This year, with our sponsors, we're going to do things a bit differently, we're going to put out an expression of interest and let local businesses give us an indication of how they'd like to be involved and what they can contribute, because we know it's been a very tough year in the local area."
While the ten-year anniversary will likely have celebrations unique to the milestone event, the committee still have more planning to do before they nail down exactly what that will entail.
"There'll be updates about what we're doing in terms of the anniversary as we get to those stages," Mr Weeks said.