STARTING OUT: The Eumundi markets backin 1979 was a very humble, yet quirky affair.
STARTING OUT: The Eumundi markets backin 1979 was a very humble, yet quirky affair. Contributed

Magic of Eumundi's markets turning 40 in its own style

THERE no doubt would be plenty of interest in borrowing the Tardis and popping back March 24, 1979 and chatting to the three stallholders and eight visitors who really started something by attending the first Eumundi markets at the local CWA Hall.

And what would ceramic artist Christa Barton and friend Gail Perry-Somers who came up with the idea of holding a European style "artisans and farmers” market in Eumundi think if you popped to 40 years on to see end result of their "having a go”?

Their vision was to develop a retail base for local small crop growers and locally produced crafts, as well as offering a retail base for out-of-work young people - to develop their skills in handicrafts and food preparation.

As Eumundi prepares to celebrate the landmark in its distinctive Eumundi style that is nationally famous, there will be plenty of others saying job well done.

The first markets netted a turnover of $30, but the seed of creativity quickly sprouted and after a year the markets gained a reputation as a source of energy, variety, freshness and friendliness.

By 1985, the Original Eumundi Markets had 97 stalls, with an estimated attendance of 143,000 people for the year.

By 1990, it had grown to 203 stalls, with some 260,000 visitors for the year and had become a 'must do' for interstate and overseas visitors holidaying in the region. .

These days the markets run Saturdays and Wednesdays come rain or shine and , has an annual visitation of around 1.2 million.

As part of the 40th anniversary celebrations the Original Eumundi Markets will be giving it's stallholders a big party after the market on Saturday, March 23 and as a thank you to the public and there will be 40 prizes up for grabs over 40 days.

"There will be some fabulous prizes to be won in the lead up to our Birthday celebration so come along and join in the festivities,” a markets spokeswoman said.

"The Original Eumundi Market continues to be run by the Eumundi & District Historical Association (EHA), a not-for-profit association which supports local community and historic projects and has always ensured that their market has an emphasis on handmade products, with the ethos of 'make it, bake it, sew it, grow it'.

Discover Eumundi Heritage and Visitor Centre which is run by EHA will be having an exhibition of the history on the market from Saturday 23 March until the end of May in it's Wan'din'in arts space complete with a mocked up retro stall circa 1980's. This exhibition will run from late February to early June 2019 and will include many photos, objects and documents.

If you would like to share your photos email them to info@discovereumundi.com. All are welcome to its opening on March 23 at 2pm with the celebrations supported by the Sunshine Coast Council.


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