Organisers of the Royal National Mod say they are optimistic the 2021 event will go ahead in Inverness.
It is to take place in October, offering hope it can take place, even if it must be in reduced form due to the ongoing pandemic.
The event’s arrival would offer a much needed boost to the city and its businesses and participants are said to be practicing hard for the competition.
Thousands of participants take to the stage each year to perform and showcase their talents during what is Scotland’s largest Gaelic festival.
The nine-day extravaganza was initially scheduled to return to the Highland Capital in October last year.
Organisers An Comunn Gàidhealach were, however, forced to take the difficult decision to postpone proceedings for the first time due to coronavirus restrictions.
Inverness last hosted the Mod in 2014, generating £3.5 million for the local economy – one of the largest economic impacts ever delivered by the event.
Convenor Alisdair Barnett said they are hoping for the best and believe they can bring the Mod to Inverness in October.
“At this moment in time we are cautiously optimistic,” he said.
“It’s important for Inverness and the wider area in terms of financial benefit that we are able to do something.
“We want to give it every opportunity to take place before we decide to turn to plan B.
“As long as the good news continues in terms of vaccinations, I think that all the powers that be are lined up in a positive manner behind us.”
The Mod was last help in the 2019 host city of Glasgow, generating £3.2million for the local economy, as it returned to that city for the first time in 29 years.
Around 12,000 people visited during the event to watch more than 3,000 competitors and more than 200 events.
An Comunn Gàidhealach are due to have a meeting in April to make their final decision on the Mod’s 2021 future.
President Allan Campbell said there are many factors to consider before they deliver their verdict.
He said: “We were looking forward to the Mod last year and we very much regretted that we had to put it off.
“We are travelling in hope as always but there are so many factors to consider as you can appreciate.
“For instance, how well will the vaccine affect things?
“How big an impact will there be and what will that mean in terms of total relaxations of all restrictions by October?
“Will the likes of the Eden Court Theatre be back to normal seating arrangements or will they still have to comply with social distancing?”
Directors previously held talks with convenors of upcoming host cities to reschedule future Mods and push their existing schedules back a year.
The 2022 event is to be held in Perth, followed by Paisley in 2023, before return to its “home” in Oban in 2024.
To mark the event’s original date last year, organisers held their first virtual Mod on social media, showcasing a number of performances and programmes.
The event proved to be a huge success, providing organisers with a contingency plan if tough restrictions hamper the hosting of the traditional Mod again this year.
Mr Campbell added: “We will most certainly be looking to celebrate Gaelic culture in some way during that week.”
Participants are now working to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic to prefect the performances in preparation for the Mod.
Joy Dunlop, Gaelic choir conductor and chorister admits it has been a challenging year.
Like many, she turned to Zoom to keep in touch socially with her fellow choir members.
Ms Dunlop said: “I think everyone is desperate to get back to singing together but definitely the choirs I’m involved in are also really safety conscious.
“We don’t want to rush back until it’s definitely safe to do so.
“The big thing is obviously we can’t all meet up in person, so choirs have been trying to rehearse in different forms online.”
Ms Dunlop said that had not been without its challenges and was far from ideal, but she and others have been making do with what they have.
She added: “If the Mod does go ahead, we would be thrilled.
“It has been difficult without a doubt and we miss each other.”