Braidwood hadn't seen anything like it in months.
All weekend, its streets were pumping, cafes full and artisan businesses buzzing.
Locals say Braidwood has been a ghost town since the North Black Range fires to the east first threatened it in late November.
Then came the ferocious Currowan fire which devastated towns on the South Coast, threatened areas to the west of Braidwood and meant it lost its coast stopover traffic.
But things are starting to turn around, with Canberrans and people from surrounding areas heeding the call to pay the town a visit at the weekend, coming in their hundreds.
Some say it was the busiest the town has been since the Kings Highway first shut. And news the highway may soon reopen is creating more optimism.
The last few months have tested Braidwood businesses and the community more broadly.
Husband and wife Karuna Gurung and Karuna Bajracharya own the Smokey Horse pub in Braidwood and say the town has been fatigued and exhausted by the events of the last two months.
"We live in town so we haven't had that direct threat, but a lot of our friends are living on properties, so it's really stressful for them," Ms Gurung said.
"It's been almost an apocalyptic situation with all the trucks going in and out and it has felt like a ghost town a lot of the time and the roads being closed."
She said the community had banded together and leaned on each other.
"This time of year we should be pumping. But we're lucky because a lot of our customers have always been locals. A lot of other businesses are really hurting," Ms Gurung said.
She said the support from Canberrans and other towns who had made the effort to visit had been heartening.
The pub had an event with live music on Sunday planned, but had thought about cancelling.
"We did a bit of a poll about whether we should run it and overwhelming people were saying, 'yes we really need it'," Ms Gurung said.
"So I think people need that distraction and to be able to chill out a little bit and take their minds off things."
The Braidwood Bakery supervisor, Sheryl Croke, said the weekend was the busiest since the Kings Highway closed.
"We've had a fantastic weekend," she said.
"All the locals can't stop saying 'how good is this'. It's always been a tight-knit community but it's been really good lately for pulling people together and trying to make each other optimistic."
Laura Miers owns bespoke jewellery store Mr. Mr. Store on Braidwood's main street.
She is usually based in Batemans Bay and commutes to her shop. But since the fires she's been staying with a friend in Majors Creek so her shop can stay open.
"It's been really beautiful to see the community come together," she said.
"The locals have tried to support the businesses as much as they can but compared to the traffic that usually comes through, everyone's hurting.
"Then you've got fathers who are out fighting fires, mothers looking after other people's kids or cooking for people. Everyone is just exhausted."
Despite the busy weekend, the town is bracing for a tough year, with many businesses relying on the holiday trade to get them through quieter periods.
"I think we'll really feel it for the rest of the year, especially as we head into winter," Ms Miers said.
Lorraine and Jim Furze were among those visiting Braidwood on Sunday to give the town a boost. They are from Tamworth but were staying with family in Canberra.
"We got up in the morning and it was nice and cool so we thought we'd come down for the day and support the locals," Mrs Furze said.