In 1979, two friends - ceramic artist Christa Barton and friend Gail Perry-Somers - came up with the idea of holding a European style artisans and farmers market in Eumundi.
Father and son at The Orginal Eumundi Markets
March of that year saw three marketeers set up their stalls around the CWA Hall, with refreshments served inside. There was a grand total of eight visitors and a turnover of $30.
A vastly different picture to what we see today at The Original Eumundi Markets!
After only one year of operation, the Original Eumundi Market had gained a reputation as a source of energy, variety, freshness and friendliness, properties that still characterise it today. But it was the policy of its founders and the markets guiding body, the Eumundi Historical Society (now the Eumundi Historical Association), that made it unique: all goods had to be locally made.
The markets quickly gained momentum.
By 1985 – just six years after launching - the Original Eumundi Markets had 97 stalls, with an estimated attendance of 143,000 people for the year.
Five years later, it had grown to 203 stalls, and around 260,000 visitors for the year.
By the year 2000, the market had grown to 350 stalls, and in 2002, the Original Eumundi Markets expanded from just a Saturday market to include a Wednesday market.
Today the Original Eumundi Markets run rail, hail or shine twice a week and have an annual visitation of around 1.2 million. This makes it one of the largest craft and artisan markets in Australia.
From the beginning the markets were popular with locals, but as the market community grew and grew, the market drew interest from tourists visiting the Sunshine Coast.
As part of the celebrations, if you visit the Original Eumundi Markets from 12 February to 23 March and spend over $30 in one transaction you will get an entry into a pool of great prizes including market vouchers. Just remember to ask the stallholder to give you an entry form.
Discover Eumundi Heritage and Visitor Centre will be having an exhibition of the history on the market from Saturday 23 March until Saturday 1 June in its Wan’din’in arts space complete with a mocked up retro stall circa 1980s.