31 March 2023

Everybunny's welcome when Canberra's favourite country markets gear up for their egg-cellent Easter special

| Morgan Kenyon
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floral crafts display

The Hartley Hall Markets, organised by Hartley Lifecare, is one of Australia’s largest home-made and home-grown goods markets. Photo: Supplied.

Looking for somewhere to take the family on a Sunday adventure? These Easter Special markets might just be the scene you’re after!

The Hartley Hall Markets have welcomed locals and visitors alike to the scenic Hall Village Showground every month for no less than 36 years.

On 2 April, the Markets have an Easter-themed day planned for the kids, including a visit from a special VIP guest (we’re pretty sure you can guess who).

The usual suspects will be in attendance to tempt mum and dad with the freshest local produce, baked goods, wine and spirits, plants and quirky garden displays, new and reclaimed furniture, clothing, pottery, gifts and more.

Once your feet (and maybe your wallet) get tired, kick back in the picnic hub, enjoy a snag from the barbeque and listen to some of Canberra’s best live music artists.

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Though these markets are always a spectacle for the whole family, the upcoming Easter Special will be especially kid-friendly.

“Our Easter Special is definitely a day for the kids,” says Eric.

“We will have plenty of delicious treats, lots of art and crafts tables, and a colouring competition they can enter.

“And if they come across the Easter Bunny, he might just have a special gift for them.”

personalised easter bunny baskets

Easter-themed crafts, gifts, treats, and games will be out in force on 2 April. Photo: Hartley Hall Markets.

Be sure to keep an eye out for Hartley Lifecare staff and volunteers on the day. They represent the organisation behind the markets, which raises funds for disability programs and services.

Hartley Lifecare CEO Eric Thauvette says the first Sunday of every month is marked boldly on Hall’s calendar.

“We are lucky to have such a delightful country market running each month, especially so close to Canberra,” he says.

“Hall is a beautiful little town with a genuine rural setting, great history, and some of the best food and wine around.

“We have a great relationship with the local Progress Association, who have helped support our markets since the beginning. Hall’s residents are always keen to come along as visitors, volunteers and stallholders.”

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Hartley Lifecare always runs a barbie or two, as well as general food stalls. All profits go towards the charity’s disability services, which sponsor social programs alongside supported independent living, short-term respite, transport and specialised hydrotherapy.

“Every penny our volunteers make goes towards enabling people with disabilities to live their best lives,” Eric says.

“Hartley Lifecare does run your usual support services, but the real cherry on top is our commitment to funding fun.

“We facilitate outings like a day trip to the coast or seeing a Canberra Raiders game because recreation and social activities are just as important as physical therapy and accommodation.”

three volunteers with funny poses

Hartley Lifecare volunteers also have a little fun on the job! Photo: Hartley Hall Markets.

Long-time volunteer Tony Morris has had his hands in many a supportive pie over the last three decades. Most recently, he and his wife Margaret became a regular sight in the car park.

“My wife and I have been involved with the markets since 1997,” Tony says.

“We help set up stalls and facilities the day before, and these days we supervise parking while the markets are on.

“Margaret’s Corner, as it’s known, is very popular. She often gets little gifts and thank you messages on holiday markets, so I wouldn’t be surprised if she gets a chocolate or two this month.”

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It’s no secret that country markets help their communities flourish, but the longevity of those held at Hall fosters something extra special. Volunteers are always welcome.

“The work is very rewarding and is a great help to all sorts of organisations, including Hartley,” says Tony.

“My wife and I have made wonderful lifelong friendships and meet new people every month. It’s a very friendly, happy union each time we come together, and I think that’s very important.”

To volunteer with Hartley Lifecare, drop them a line on 6282 4411 or contact enquiries@hartley.org.au. Find out more about the Hartley Hall Markets here.

The Hartley Hall Markets are on the first Sunday of every month (the next one is on 2 April!) at the Hall Showgrounds from 10 am to 3 pm.

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