Businesses are staying upbeat ahead of the long weekend, despite Covid-19 restrictions creating ongoing uncertainty.
Maria Lane owner Bryce Mason said while the "bounce back" after this year's lockdown hadn't been as strong as in 2020, things were still ticking along.
The restaurant recently expanded its premises with the introduction of a new wine bar.
"Last year, the country kicked out of lockdown with a clear run of no cases and everyone was like 'yay', Mason said.
"People are definitely being a bit more astute and careful this time around."
Mason said he hoped everyone would get out and enjoy level 2 while they could.
"It's an interesting scenario at the moment because you're very much day-to-day but you're also thinking about how things are going to roll when Covid-19 starts coming south.
"There could be a case in Palmerston North or Marton, and away we go again."
Further down Victoria Ave, La Quattro restaurant owner Manjot Singh said bookings were thin for the long weekend.
Like Mason, he said post-lockdown traffic had been less than last year.
"We can't predict anything at the moment," Singh said.
"Sometimes it's too busy on a Monday and then it's too quiet on Friday and Saturday.
"The graph goes up and then falls way down immediately."
Despite the uncertainty, Singh said he was feeling positive for the rest of the year.
Currently about 80 per cent of his customers are locals.
"There are ups and downs of course, but to be honest, we can't complain.
"Whanganui has been really supportive of us."
Daniel Lynch, at the Cooks Gardens Motor Lodge, said most rooms were booked for the next three days.
However, people were cautious about travelling longer distances under alert level 2, he said.
"There has been a lot of movement with bookings and cancellations, but we're still pretty full," Lynch said.
"The general feeling is that it's quieter [than last October]. That's because of uncertainty around restrictions.
"Big events obviously aren't going ahead, so it's bits and pieces at the moment."
Whanganui and Partners' strategic lead for visitor industries Paul Chaplow said the occupancy rate for Whanganui motel and apartment accommodation providers for the past 12 months was 76.3 per cent, higher than the national average of 60.6 per cent.
"At this time of year we would expect those rates to be maintained and experience an increase as we come into the traditionally busy summer season," Chaplow said.
"There are opportunities to make the most of another summer season in a competitive domestic tourist market.
"Although some events have been moved to new dates, Whanganui has a huge events schedule ahead in the summer months and event organisers are preparing for possible restrictions."
The On The Rocks boutique food and drink festival at Majestic Square was one notable victim of alert level 2.
Originally scheduled for Saturday, it has now been pushed back to November 20.
"It's a real shame, but you have to keep the community safe," festival organiser Gioia Damosso said.
"One of the main reasons for putting on events now was to encourage others to leave their hometowns and try Whanganui for the weekend.
"For an outdoor event we need more than 100 people gathered, but we also need to be in a situation where people don't have to be socially distanced.
"Essentially, you want everyone to get the most out of an experience as possible."
Labour weekend marked the start of the fishing season, Coastguard Wanganui's Gary Hawkins said.
"There's a comp on this weekend, so I'd imagine there'd be plenty of boaties out.
"You do get people who fish all through the year, though. Recently we had 56 boats out one day during the week."
That number could climb as high as 140 over the weekend, Hawkins said.
"At this time of year, people should make sure they've had their boats serviced.
"They've been sitting in the shed with stale fuel and flat batteries.
"We definitely do more tows at the start of the season."
Hawkins said aside from always wearing a life jacket, it was important for boaties to let people know where they were going and when they were coming home.
"You can give Coastguard a call on channel 64."
While things might be a little bit quieter this Labour Weekend, there are still a few happenings dotted around the district.
Temperatures will remain warm, although spots of sunshine may be few and far between.
Saturday brings Oceanview Speedway's opening night of the season, with
racing kicking off at 6pm.
If you're after something a little quieter, head to Mangaweka on Saturday for Yellow Church Gallery's Fakes and Forgeries competition, in which entrants recreate famous works of the past.
Windermere Berry Farm on State Highway 3 has reopened for the summer months, offering punters the chance to pick their own berries or dive straight in at the cafe.
On the music front, Welsh/Kiwi folk duo In the Shallows will be kicking off Labour Weekend with a concert at Space Studio and Gallery on Friday night.
Fordell's Paloma Gardens, already a nationally recognised exotic garden, now has another attraction to check out - Moto 71 motorcycle gallery.
Wanganui Manawatū Sea Fishing Club's annual Labour Week competition starts on Saturday afternoon at its clubroom on Wharf St.