Katherine Turf Club president Paul Mullins has moved to quash rumors the Katherine Races have been confirmed for 2020.
Queries on Facebook were answered by residents seemingly confirming the event for this year, and others began criticising organisers for not advertising or releasing tickets.
While Mr Mullins is optimistic of the races going forward and the situation has continued to progress, he said the Turf Club cannot begin such activities until it hears back from the Liquor Commission.
"People have jumped on Facebook and started asking if we know how to organise a race and all that, but they really just have no idea about the process we're undertaking here," he said.
"It has been trying times for everyone over the past six months to even qualify for such an event.
"You must understand the amount of effort, persistence and protocols we have had to go through and implement to get to this point in our campaign.
"We've been getting the approvals from the Health Department and Fire Department among a list of others, and so we now expect to have our full application to liquor licensing Monday morning.
"We're not a special event anymore, so we're now at the highest level of events for liquor licensing and crowd management.
"When questions about safety are raised we believe our reputation from last year should speak for itself.
"It's a fantastic community event and we want to make sure our process is right so we have it this year and in the future.
"I am optimistic and things are going well, but I can't say yet we are going ahead or advertise tickets because the process is still ongoing.
"As soon as we do get that approval we will release the online tickets and begin to push our event as hard as we possibly can," Mr Mullins said.
The August event would be welcome relief for a region which has already lost the 2020 Katherine Show and Barunga Festival to the COVID-19 crisis.
The significance not only economically but socially for the town isn't lost on Mr Mullins, and he is placing the onus back onto residents to ensure the event continues for years to come.
"I'm putting it back on residents that if we have this event they have to behave," he said.
"Completing this process this year has been difficult, and we need to make sure we do everything right to make it easy for us going forward.
"We only had to kick out one person last year who wanted to be the clown at the circus and I'd like to see none this year, if we do go forward.
"This is a glass free event and we must obey social distancing strictly, but if we do all that then we'll be in good stead for years to come," Mr Mullins said.
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