READY TO REOPEN: Stallholders gear up for return of markets
THE Saturday morning ritual of many Whitsunday residents will soon be restored with the Lions Club Airlie Beach Community markets set to return in just over a week.
The markets will recommence on Saturday June 27 for the first time in almost three months and will return its home on the Airlie Beach foreshore.
The markets were put on a temporary pause in late-March due to coronavirus, however Lions markets spokeswoman Sue McAllister said everyone was excited about its return.
“It brings people into the town and adds an atmosphere on Saturday mornings,” she said.
“It’s a good place to just wander around and see what you can see and meet up with people.”
While the markets may look a little different with all stalls spaced apart, hand sanitiser and a focus on card rather than cash payments, Ms McAllister reassured residents that plenty of the market favourites would be returning.
“We’ve got about 80 stallholders saying ‘Yeah, bring it on’,” she said.
“They’re all excited to get going.”
Among those gearing up for an early start on Saturday mornings was owner of The Earring Man at Airlie, Graham Simpson.
Mr Simpson said the temporary pause in the markets had given him time to work on projects that had been put on hold for years.
“I’ve been very busy and made lots of new things and it’s been a time of great creativity,” he said.
“We’re looking forward to going back, it’s just a case of how busy it’s going to be.”
He hoped eased travel restrictions would bring visitors from other regions looking to escape for a weekend.
“Hopefully a lot of people will be looking to get out from Townsville and Mackay and what better place to come than down to the markets,” he said.
“Come on down, come and support the locals.”
The Bowen Lions markets are set to resume in July.