After being closed for two years due to the pandemic, a period in which lead dust was discovered at their Kingston site, the much-loved Old Bus Depot Markets are finally making their return.
Organisers announced that the markets would return Sunday, 20 March.
“After a challenging two years, we are so excited to be reopening our new and improved space. With some familiar faces returning, we will also have some exciting new faces to welcome. Look forward to sharing this with you all soon,” the post said.
The first Old Bus Depot Markets were held in 1994 in the Old Bus Depot Building. Founders Diane Hinds and Morna Whiting were forced to find a new home for the markets and move to the nearby Former Transport Depot Building due to the required demolition of their original building for the redevelopment of the Kingston Foreshore.
In May 2016, Ms Hinds and Ms Whiting passed on the markets to current owner Anthony Niravong, who has served as managing director ever since.
The markets were closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic. In February 2021, during renovation works, lead dust was discovered in the building, causing the reopening of the markets to be further delayed.
For stallholders, what was supposed to be a brief break for COVID became a two-year hiatus.
Dianne Taylor from Cushions by Di can’t wait to return to her stall.
“I walked out of there thinking that we’d go back after a couple of weeks of COVID. It wasn’t good for me,” she said.
Dianne says that the markets are “good for Canberra” and that she’s excited to return to selling her ugg boots and cushions to her customers. She hopes to see the “great comradery” and “beautiful stalls” make a return.
She senses that stallholders might have a “new lease on life” after their break.
The Australian Honey Cellars stall is owned by Harden-Murrumbarrah’s Kris and Lachlan Jarrad. They’ve been attending the markets for more than 11 years and are “really looking forward” to their return after a tough couple of years. The pandemic also cost them another regular market in North Sydney.
“There is a community there and I’ve missed a lot of my fellow stallholders,” Kris said.
“I love the buzz of the markets on a Sunday and love getting the chance to meet so many different people. You get people from all over Australia and all over the world, and I think that’s what makes it so special,” she said.
For more updates on the reopening of the Old Bus Depot Markets and future events, follow their Facebook page.