Kempsey Riverside Markets soared to a new height last Saturday December 1.
Launching the countdown to Christmas there was a mega Crazy Day sale right across town in the CBD as well as in the West Kempsey shopping precinct.
In conjunction with this, Smith St was closed for two hours and it hosted the Shannons and Red Point Show’n’shine.
Vehicles assembled at the Slim Dusty Centre early in the morning and then participated in a cruise lead by the Red Point truck along Macleay Valley Way, into West Kempsey and into the CBD where they were inspected by hundreds of locals and visitors while on display.
Entrants in the Show’n’shine came from as far north as Grafton, and as far South as Newcastle.
Coordinator of the Christmas Festival Belinda Fowler said the event was hugely successful.
“This event has been so successful, and now that we know we can do it, and it’s something people want, we can develop it further. We are already thinking about the Festival for 2019,” she said.
Spectators were entertained by a fantastic Christmas themed parade by the Danae Cantwell School of Dance, the crowd cheered as the dancers pranced and cartwheeled down the street.
The Barrenjoey High School Band also arrived in force with a full 50 piece orchestra and set up next to the Christmas tree to play a selection of amazing festive classics.
“It was so great to see the shop owners embrace this opportunity and actively participate in the day, the cafes were so busy as well,” Ms Fowler said.
“Shops that don’t normally open on a Saturday were open, and shops that normally close at 12 didn’t, they stayed open until at least 2pm.”
“Santa was there as well and I know he was pretty busy, it was just such a wonderful morning, you could really feel the buzz and the positive energy in the community.”
Not to miss out on the engine revving action, in West Kempsey around 100 festively decorated Motorcycles rolled in around lunch time. The Natureland Classic Motorcycle Club completed their annual Christmas Toy run with a sausage sizzle in the park, they held a small ceremony there and handed over all the toys they had collected to the Kempsey Salvation Army.
The crazy day sales were also very successful in West Kempsey.
“Feedback from shop owners is that they were very happy with the number of people that came along to West Kempsey that day.”
One of the highlights of the day was the Twilight Markets at Kempsey Riverside Park.
The Market was opened at 3pm with a special Christmas dance routine by the Danae Cantwell School of Dance followed by a Christmas message from our Deputy Mayor Ashley Williams, and a Welcome to Country from Uncle Bob Mumbler.
Ms Fowler said the live entertainment at the markets was one of the highlights.
“Andrew Cousins has easily become mine, and I think half of Kempsey’s, favorite entertainer. He was just amazing, not only his voice but is song selection.”
The crowd were wowed throughout the evening by clowns, stilt walkers, balloon twisters and the Macleay Bagpipes & Drummers.
Santa arrived delivered safely to the new warf by the Kempsey Macleay Dragon Boat Club.
“He was a little scared on the ride I heard, but he held on tight,” Ms Fowler said.
There were over 170 stalls at the markets including a water slide, petting zoo and delicious food.
“The food alley was standing room only. It was just amazing, every food vendor sold out.”
At the end of the evening, everyone made their way to the Riverbank to await the grand finale fireworks.
“The scene was amazing. There were so many people there, so many families. I was so moved standing there in the crowd, listening to everyone enjoying themselves,” Ms Fowler said.
The Macleay Valley Business Chambers Market Committee have big plans for the coming year, 2019 is set to be a great year full of exciting new events in conjunction with the Riverside Markets.