THE BINGARA Happy Days Orange Festival may have been taken off the town's calendar due to COVID-19, but the community's zest for tradition and easing restrictions mean the orange-picking event can now go ahead.
The annual festival will celebrate its 60th anniversary with the 2020 orange-picking event, which is set to kick off on Friday, July 3 at 11am.
Although it won't be the same festival as seen over the past few decades, Gwydir Shire Council's Georgia Standerwick said it's exciting to have the main attraction back on the agenda.
"I think it's lifted the town spirits a bit, everyone was quite disappointed we couldn't have the festival ... it's really important to local businesses after COVID and the drought.
"My mum did it when she was at primary school, I did it as a kid, and now my kids ... generations of people have been involved.
Although the live entertainment and festival extras like the car show have been put off until 2021, there is still plenty to look forward to.
"The Bingara Lions Club usually has a monthly market on the last Saturday of the month, but they are going to do an extraordinary market day to encourage more people," she said.
"We'll pump music out onto the street and just try and make it as festive as we possibly can.
"Since COVID restrictions have been lifted there has been a floodgate of visitors in town so there will still be a festive atmosphere."
The orange trees were originally planted in Bingara to honour the town's fallen soldiers in past wars.
Every year, the local school kids and the general public are invited to pick the fruit as part of the Bingara Orange Festival.
This year, in the era of COVID-19, colour-coded trees will be assigned to certain school groups, while others will be open for public picking.
We'll pump music out onto the street and just try and make it as festive as we possibly canGeorgia Standerwick
Ms Standerwick said she expects the event to be smaller this year than previous years, so the local Lions Club is planning on collecting leftover oranges and delivering them to locals in isolation.
Orange-picking will start at 11am on Finch Street, Bingara, on July 3 and the market day will be held on Saturday, July 4.
The festival will be back in full force next year.