Traders expressed joy at returning to their usual spot on the foreshore, as the first Airlie markets for 2020 took place today (Saturday). Pictured are Bowen Mango Sorbet's Patrick and Sylvie Martin.
Traders expressed joy at returning to their usual spot on the foreshore, as the first Airlie markets for 2020 took place today (Saturday). Pictured are Bowen Mango Sorbet's Patrick and Sylvie Martin.

First Airlie markets of 2020 put a smile on stallholders’ faces

IT was smiles all round at the first markets of 2020 on Saturday, with stallholders overjoyed to be back on the Airlie Foreshore again.

Many traders expressed joy at returning to their usual spot, in November, after 14 months of operating on vacant land next to the Port of Airlie, made available to them by council while the foreshore was being revitalised.

The Lions Airlie Beach Community Market is much loved by both locals and visitors who flock there every Saturday morning and on days when cruise ships are docked in Pioneer Bay.

“We are so happy to be back,” Bowen Mango Sorbet’s Sylvie Martin said.

Sylvie and husband Patrick Martin have been selling their delicious mango sorbet at the Airlie markets for 21 years – and they still “love” it.

“We love the view, and there’s more business on the foreshore - much more. It’s better for the tourists - it’s scenic, stunning – they come for the markets and the view. The music and the stage adds to the atmosphere.”

Martin Stander, of Tastes from Africa, which has been selling its biltong at the Airlie markets for five years, also said he was happy to be back on the foreshore.

“It’s much better here, especially with the live music, it makes a huge difference – the vibe is better here,” he said.

Val Adams, who runs Sissi Design and has been selling her ladies’ cotton clothing and accessories at the Airlie markets for 15 years, said everyone was happy to be back.

“It’s lovely – it’s not so hot here, there’s a better breeze.” Ms Adams said, adding all her clothing was designed and made in Airlie Beach.

“We have the beach and the ambience, and everybody’s happy.”

Whitsunday Lions Club president Helen Toy said the foreshore was a ‘marvellous’ location for a market.

“It’s certainly wonderful to be back on the foreshore because it’s just so much cooler and it’s lovely to be able to look at the ocean,” she said.

“It’s looking good - the grass is growing and the whole facility is looking neat and tidy and the ambience of the whole place is lovely. And we have our musicians back, which is wonderful.”