When the news that Sir Elton John would bring his farewell tour to Bathurst first broke 12 months ago, members of the community met the announcement with surprise, awe and disbelief.
But the big day is finally here, with a record 20,000 set to pack Carrington Park this evening for Sir Elton's first [and last] concert in Bathurst.
The event has been a whole year in the making, and Bathurst mayor Bobby Bourke has applauded the efforts of the events staff in preparing the community for Sir Elton's visit.
"I don't know what else I can say about the efforts of the events staff, they have done a magnificent job," Cr Bourke said.
"They have worked very closely with Chugg Entertainment [the production company in charge of the tour] to ensure each person in attendance gets the most out of Sir Elton's show."
The gates to Carrington Park will open at 4pm, with support act Tate Sheridan to take the stage from 6.16pm.
Sir Elton is expected on stage at 8pm sharp, and will perform a two hour, 45 minute set of hit songs spanning his storied six-decade career.
Devout local fan Andy Wheeler, who has a special, Elton-inspired suit in store for tonight's concert, said the sight of 20,000 at Carrington Park will be a spectacle unlike any the Bathurst community has seen before.
"The community has had to endure uneasy stories of dry conditions and destructive fires in recent months and while Sir Elton's concert won't break the drought, it'll help lift spirits throughout the town," Mr Wheeler said.
"From what I've watched on Youtube over the past month, everyone is in for a treat tonight."
Mr Wheeler said Sir Elton's celebrity profile is nothing short of royalty, and while there has been no answer [as of yet] in regards to the tour guide role, he will be in a prime position for tonight's show.
"I've informed Chugg Entertainment that I'll be in row A of section C4 should Elton be looking for me," he said.
Mr Wheeler, who is known in Bathurst for his LGBTQI+ advocacy, said the appearance of Sir Elton, a high profile gay rights advocate, is a great leap forward for the community.
"The fact we have someone who has been in a happy same-sex relationship for nearly 30 years coming to perform for 20,000 fans is a fine example of breaking down the barriers," he said.
Balance Early Education named winners of Elton John window display competition
In the lead up to the concert, Bathurst businesses were invited to take part in council's Elton John window competition, with two tickets on offer for the best display.
Balance Early Education was announced as the winner last Friday for their colourful, artistic display near the front of the building.
"The children have been talking about Elton with their families over the past few weeks, and they worked really hard to put this display together," Balance Early Education director Molly Gallop said.
"They've been invested in pianos and Elton's unique fashion sense, so we really wanted to help the children bring that out in the display."
Rather than choose an immediate recipient, Balance Early Education staged a raffle among their community to award the tickets to a lucky winner, who was drawn yesterday.
"All proceeds will be donated to the NSW Rural Fire Service [RFS] and we hope to raise between $200 and $300," Ms Gallop said.