Each summer, several community groups collaborate to co-ordinate the Riverbank Anglesea Markets, held (as the name suggests) on the bank of the town’s river to raise funds for the community group organisers.
This year the Lions Club, Anglesea Primary School, Community House and the Anglesea Football and Netball Clubs are coordinating the markets, with one of these groups primarily hosting each event and receiving funding from stall bookings for that market.
Already this year the groups have organised three markets, one run by the Lions Club and two by Anglesea Primary School.
The next market is scheduled on the Labour Day weekend on March 13, and hosted by Anglesea’s football and netball clubs.
The final market will be held on Easter Sunday and run by Anglesea Community House.
Anglesea Community House operations co-ordinator and Anglesea Football Netball Club secretary Julie Martin said ultimately the markets were about creating community connection, supporting small businesses and community groups.
“For us as community groups obviously it’s a huge fundraiser… especially when so any other events have been cancelled over the past couple of years, it’s income that’s needed.
Ms Martin said despite some hesitancy among stallholders to sign up after so many cancelled events, this year the markets have received positive feedback, with two markets run by the Anglesea Primary School and one run by the Lions Club to raise funds for these groups.
“This is an outdoor event so it’s a much safer event… and we want to bring community together where we can,” Ms Martin said.
“Come and support these small businesses owners who have struggled through the last couple of years, and you’re also supporting community groups.”
Anglesea Primary School principal Murray Surkitt said the markets were the perfect place for locals and visitors alike to come together and enjoy themselves while also giving back to the community.
Mr Surkitt said the markets have always been about giving back to the community, originally set up in 1983 after the Ash Wednesday bushfires in order to raise funds for those people who lost their homes in the fire.
He said it was also great to see the school get involved, with children from the Anglesea Primary School also helping out and enjoying themselves at the market.
“It’s something for people to do and mingle in together as best they can during COVID-19.”