The banks of the beautiful Macleay River were transformed into a colourful, bustling market place when the inaugural Kempsey Riverside Markets were held at Riverside Park next to Kempsey on December 7, 2013.
Scheduled to be held on the first Saturday of each month, the markets are the initiative of Kempsey Chamber of Commerce & Industry Inc in collaboration with members of the Kempsey Campus of North Coast Institute of TAFE.
In the tradition of popular growers markets, the focus of the new market will be on quality, taste and design, offering a market space for produce and products stallholders to display and sell their goods, as well as a relaxed, picturesque setting for locals and visitors to browse and mingle.
Chamber president Gary Scott said the aim of the markets was to boost the number of people coming to the Kempsey CBD on a trading day and to give Kempsey & West Kempsey retailers an opportunity to take advantage of the increased number of shoppers to town.
“We know how tough some retailers are doing it, so our first thought in holding this market was to do it in such a way that the retailers can also receive a really positive boost,” Mr Scott said.
“This market will also provide local producers with an outlet to sell their goods and produce, which is an issue that many small producers can struggle with in regional areas.
“This will be an excellent chance to showcase locally produced items, with preference given to stallholders in the Macleay area.”
A small group of hard-working volunteers have spent months planning the markets, with coordinator Jodie Clarke reporting she has been delighted by the response.
With its own dedicated website and Facebook page, it seems the markets are already gaining a strong reputation.
“We’re getting a huge number of enquiries, from all over the region,” Ms Clarke said.
“We want to make sure that the market offers a unique experience for all shoppers. We won’t have stallholders with the same product, so shoppers will be sure of a wide range of produce and products on offer.
“The first market is scheduled for Saturday 7th December 2013, so will be a great chance to get a little pre Christmas shopping organised.
“There will be prizes and giveaways on the day, entertainment, and activities for the kids.”
Applications for stallholders are still being taken, with interested people invited to contact Ms Clarke on 0456 658 979 or visit the website at www.kempseyriversidemarkets.org.au