The Gloucester Business Chamber has announced the return of the Gloucester Community Markets across the 2021 long weekends, kicking off with Easter.
The community markets were originally established in 1997 and run by the Gloucester Freemasons on the Saturdays of the Easter, June and October long weekends in the Billabong Park. In 2019, MidCoast Council's new market policy altered the way markets were conducted on council property and doesn't allow for two markets to run in the same place at the same time.
As the Gloucester Farmers Markets, run by chamber, were already approved by council to run on the second Saturday of each month, it was enviable that some point the two markets who clash. Knowing this would first occur on the Easter long weekend of 2020, the community market organisers opted to cease operations ahead of the October long weekend 2019.
Then COVID hit and things on the market scene went a bit quiet.
In November 2020, leading up to Christmas, the Gloucester Business Chamber launched a slightly modified version of the community markets with a Twilight Christmas Community Market.
Now, the chamber has decided to include the community markets in its regular line up.
Chamber president, James Hooke said he's proud to continue on this long standing event.
"While the chamber's priority is to the business community, an important part of our ethos is to recognise and support valuable initiatives within the local community," James said.
James believes that the community market reflect many of the chamber's business, social and event tourism objectives, especially as pandemic recovery progresses.
"It's a great opportunity for the local community to come together to sell their products directly to the public on what has historically been busy long weekends for tourists and visitors to town," he said.
The community markets will organised by Caitlin Tonelli and Sarah Fulton, who currently run the farmers markets. Both are excited to continue a tradition that is valued in the community.
"We hope to build on the vision of this special event and to sustain our own market legacy of contributing to and valuing a connected community," Caitlin said.
The community markets provide for a more diverse range of stallholders over the farmers markets and it's hoped that it will "showcase even more of what Gloucester has to offer".
The first Gloucester Community Market will be held on Easter Saturday April 3 at Billabong Park.
For stallholder applications or more information visit www.gloucestercommunitymarkets.com.au or emailing email@example.com.