One of Canberra’s favourite events is back for 2022 this Sunday, 6 February. But in a sign of the times, you’ll need to pre-book to get into the Hall Markets.
Seven of the scheduled 11 markets at the Hall Showground were cancelled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a blow for the monthly event’s main beneficiary Hartley Lifecare. The markets usually net about $80,000 annually for the Canberra charity.
Hall Markets manager Melanie Hugg said COVID restrictions forced the introduction of tickets for all visitors to the most recent event in December. This proved a problem for some people.
She said ACT Health advised the markets were to remain ticketed because of the Omicron threat and the importance of contract tracing at such large events. Some tickets would be available on the day but she encouraged everyone to book as numbers were limited.
“It seems ticketing is now the way forward. We don’t want people to have to queue up to get in, so we encourage everyone to book their tickets online before they come,” she said.
A total of 6000 visitors will be allowed in on Sunday, 2000 fewer than the usual market crowd.
Ms Hugg said producers and craftspeople from Goulburn, Yass, Wagga and as far afield as Albury would join old Canberra favourites and new stallholders.
Debutantes setting up on Sunday include a biscuit-maker offering personalised Valentine’s Day treats, candle and soap makers and other creators of natural lotions and potions. All the regular stalls, including fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers, homemade bread and cakes will also be back.
Crowds will also be entertained on Sunday by roving performers, including buskers and a juggler. Plus, there’ll be a Canberra Miniature Model Railway Club display in the pavilion.
The popular Hartley barbecue will also be back, along with three coffee vendors and lots of other food stalls.
Since opening in 1987 with 36 stalls and a 20 cent entry fee, the Hall Markets have become a Canberra institution. As one of the largest homemade and home-grown markets in the region, they continue to attract thousands of visitors and stallholders from throughout NSW and the ACT.
Ms Hugg said more than 150 stallholders were booked for this Sunday’s markets on the Hall Showground site.
Tickets are $2 for singles and $5 for families. Visitors are encouraged to book online to avoid delay and disappointment in case all 6000 are sold early.
Proceeds from the tickets, instead of the usual gold coin donation, will go to Hartley Lifecare to fund its disability services and programs in Canberra.
Book your tickets for Sunday’s Hall Markets here.