Christmas is coming early for Canberra foodies this year, and it is going to be over three days. The Forage, our city’s leading street food event which has been responsible for bringing a cornucopia of unique vendors to hungry mouths since 2014 was cancelled like all events across the country in April. But with easing restrictions and a strong will to reconnect and feed the community they have built, they are making a December comeback.
“To finally be able to bring The Forage back to life feels amazing,” says founder Belinda Neame.
“When the pandemic hit, one of the first things to be shut down was events. And for good reason. We cancelled our April event and have sat in the waiting room ever since. Our vendors were all amazing through this period with most of them pivoting into something online or delivery based so they could keep going.”
“Given our core brand objective was to deliver a high quality, street food event, we didn’t feel like pivoting online was an option for us. It is very hard to capture the essence of a street food festival over the internet! We also found that the online space for food and markets became very saturated and decided to leave that space until things started to calm down. So we waited it out.”
Given ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, instead of the usual one-day event, The Forage will be ticketed and timed with 11 sessions limited to 200 people spread over a three-day long weekend. The essence of the festival-style environment with good food, good tunes and good times will still be intact with, perhaps, even more to celebrate and be thankful for this year.
“Although this is not like The Forage you are used to, our core objective is still there – a coming together to celebrate community and local all in a COVID safe way of course,” said Belinda.
“Restrictions have started to ease enough now for us to bring something back but on a lot smaller scale. We wanted to do this, not only to give our vendors something to look forward to before the year is out but also a way of acknowledging and celebrating how resilient and amazing Canberra has been through this pandemic. Although it is far from over, I think we have so much to celebrate as a city.”
The Forage will be popping up as part of The Dairy Road Markets across the weekend of the 4, 5 and 6 December. Local street food from The Forage will be joined by wines by Cellar Door and suitcase markets by Suitcase Rummage as part of The Dairy Road Markets event.
“Each day will feature a unique line-up of vendors spread throughout the Dairy Road gardens accompanied by live music,” Belinda said.
“There will be a mix of hot food, desserts and beverages (of course) by some of Canberra’s favourite vendors such as Grease Monkey, ZAAB, Fricken Chicken, Get Whipped Cheesecake Cones, Canberra Distillery and more.”
What you need to know:
The Dairy Road Market will be located at 1 Dairy Rd, Fyshwick and bookings are essential.
The Dairy Road Market can be enjoyed for 90 minutes at a time. Book in for one of the 11 sessions available over the first weekend of December.
Friday 4 December – 5:00 pm, 6:45 pm, 8:30 pm
Saturday 5 December – 12:00 pm, 1:45 pm, 3:30 pm, 5:15 pm
Sunday 6 December – 12:00 pm, 1:45 pm, 3:30 pm, 5:15 pm.
Tickets are $8 plus booking fees. Children under 12 are free.
Contact details will be required during registration for contact tracing purposes. The event site will be cleaned and sanitised between each session.