Big thanks to everyone who was involved in the Ballarat Begonia Festival 2023! Stallholders, shoppers, visitors who discovered the markets, City of Ballarat Events team, parking crew, gardeners… it was a massive weekend and a great success for all.
For the first time, Ballarat Farmers Market ran extended hours (until 5 pm) and on a Sunday (March 12, 10 am – 5pm). It was a bit of an experiment but what a beauty! Saturday was probably our biggest sales day for stalls EVER… we had over 90 stalls and many reported selling about twice what they expected. Some Melbourne stallholders came up with enough stock for two full market days at a festival… and sold it all on Saturday!
The first July market for 2021 was a glorious weather day – something we missed out on last July!
The main market entrance clocked nearly 2500 people through the front gate over the four hours of the market and we guesstimate another 2-300 came in directly from Gillies St. With over 60 stalls in attendance, there was a wide range on offer and it was gratifying to hear that multiple stalls sold out.
Many thanks to the loyal customers of the market who are coming regularly and supporting our stallholders. At the end of Term 3 2020, we had a big jump in numbers of people attending the market and it’s great to see those levels of attendance holding up in the Winter months. Higher shopper numbers make the market viable for our stallholders, so they are continuing through Winter when they might not have in previous years. To put things in perspective, the first July market in 2019 had only 21 stalls.
It’s a virtuous circle… the shoppers come because the stallholders come and the stallholders come because the shoppers come … and everybody wins! 🙂
*Note that not all vendors attend every market. Some are seasonal; others come once a month. Look out for our pre-market FaceBook listing of coming stalls to make sure your favourites will be attending!
ACORN & SQUIRREL (Ballarat, VIC)
Locally made hand painted wood earrings and accessories.
We’re updating our busker roster for 2019 and have spots available at both Lake Wendouree and Brown Hill. Acts can be highly varied, but we are particularly looking for solo or duo folk/soft rock vocal acts. Busking at the markets is a great way to supplement your income while gaining exposure to a wide cross-section of the public.
We don’t pay our buskers but we also don’t charge (unless you are selling product, in which case we may charge a small fee). There are two busking spots at each market and we insure you, so no need to get public liability cover in case someone trips over your guitar case.
Young people and school groups are welcome. (Parents accompanying also welcome!).
Even if you’d only like to do a couple of spots every few months, that’s fine. We have a roster and we try to give our buskers the dates they prefer. To find out more, please contact Steve on email@example.com. Please feel free to share this info with friends. 🙂
It is always fabulous when the Ballarat Ukulele Group come to the market and last Saturday was no exception. What I love about these guys is the obvious fun they are all having… they give you something that is part choir, part rockabilly garage band and part stand-up comedy routine! Whoever picks the songs and rewrites the lyrics is doing a great job…. and the market crowd always stop to show their appreciation. Markets are about much more than shopping…
Did you enjoy the Christmas Carols at Brown Hill Market last Saturday? The fab folks from Ballarat Choral Society joined us and did a few sets of traditional carols. They were right in the middle of the market, across from the hall entrance, and added great atmosphere! They’ll be back at Brown Hill on December 22 for the Mega-Pre-Christmas-market (by which I mean IT WILL BE HUGE!) 🙂 See you there!
It’s very exciting to see that the FaceBook posts on the Brown Hill Market and Ballarat Farmers Market pages reached nearly 20,000 people last week.
No wonder we had such a great turn out on Saturday at Brown Hill!
THANKS to you for SHARING and LIKING and … COMING along!
The level of support and interest is fabulous and BOTH markets are benefitting – we have new stallholders at both Brown Hill and the Lake. If you’re a Brown Hill local, please come check out the Lake on September 8.
On Monday morning (Aug 20) I’m meeting with Council officers to look at how we set up stalls in the parkland. Renovations have started so there will be a new layout… with stalls in the park as well as main hall – and the car park returned to the people!
I’ve already submitted an Event application with the City and the site meeting is to finalise conditions, stall layout, etc. Expanding into the park will enable us to cater for the increased stall numbers as seasonal produce suppliers return in Spring and Summer.
Stalls in the park will ease parking congestion in the street but also create a lovely atmosphere for shoppers & stallholders alike. There was a great buzz having everyone squeezed into the car park, but the more relaxed layout either side of the pathways will be much more pleasant on the sunny mornings that the coming months will bring.
On Friday June 22, I spoke again to the senior Project Manager with the City of Ballarat who has assured me that we are right to begin the Brown Hill Market on July 28!
Because of potential noise and safety issues while the contractors are working, daytime hall users have been asked to find alternative venues for the six months of renovations . At the end of each day, however, the contractors will leave the building secure & tidy, so that the main hall and toilets can be used. Evening and weekend events should be fine to continue.
On that basis, we are locking in Saturday July 28 for our first market at Brown Hill Hall!
We have a great market at the Lake today, with weather threatening to bother us but the crowds came out, the sales were strong and we all got to pack up and leave before the showers arrived. Big thanks to our great customers who bought up big… several stallholders sold out and that’s always a good thing! Apologies to those who came at 11.30 and found their choices a bit limited… please come earlier next time!
We already have four new stallholders waiting to join us at Brown Hill – selling clothing, jewellery and garden ornaments. If you know local producers who might be interested in an indoor location, please let them know about our move. (NB: we prefer stallholders who actually grow or make their products, so don’t bother telling your mate who sells $2 Chinese socks… we wish him well, but he’s not a good match for us).
The renovations to the Brown Hill Hall are going to leave us with a massively improved hall: new entrance, new kitchen, increased storage space and new toilets. We’ll even get some out door power points! It’s a big long-term win.
Short-term, though… things could be a bit messy. Contractors will need to fence off parts of the site. Public safety must be ensured, so during certain parts of the construction, access might be limited or prohibited. The sequence of building works might have an impact on how soon we can get back in… there are lots of things to consider.
As with any major project, the logistics are complex and the messaging can get ….well….. confused?
Many hall users have received a message from one City of Ballarat representative asking them to seek alternative venues from July until December. While this is likely to be the period during which the works are undertaken, it isn’t clear whether the hall will be closed, or whether relocating is being suggested as a mutually convenient option (convenient for the building contractors who might be happy to not have people under their feet and convenient for some hall users who can easily relocate to an equally suitable venue).
I have spoken to the City of Ballarat Project Manager who is dealing directly with the short-listed contractors and they have all assured him that they can accommodate the market operating, subject to half the car park being blocked off. We can work with that… half a car park during Winter still gets most of our outdoor stalls onto the site.
If the situation changes, I’ll post here to let you know. In the meantime, we can only proceed on the best advice we have… so brochures have been printed and are being distributed and our July start date is in the calendar section of My Ballarat which is out now!