150 Years

SINCE 1867


Media Release: South Melbourne Market Celebrates 150 Years of Service, Stories and Community

One of Victoria’s oldest and most popular institutions, South Melbourne Market, is preparing to celebrate its 150th birthday with an exciting calendar of events and activities planned for 2017.

Tightly woven into the fabric of South Melbourne and its surrounds, the Market opened in May 1867 and has been serving the community ever since.

“South Melbourne Market is Melbourne’s oldest permanent market and our 150th birthday marks a huge milestone for the Market, traders, shoppers, the council and our community,” Manager Ross Williamson said.

South Melbourne Market has changed a lot in 150 years but its essence and its place at the heart of the community remains strong. “This much-loved inner-city landmark is the quintessential village market. People come not only to buy fresh produce, but also to eat, shop, discover, share and connect. Our community is invited to contribute and celebrate 150 years with us,” Ross said.

Celebratory activities will include an exhibition featuring memorabilia and memories collected over 150 years; a birthday barbecue street party on Saturday May 6; heritage and school tours; a public art project with well-known Melbourne street artists; and a consumer promotion with italktravel giving away the trip of a lifetime to markets in London and Italy.

The Market is also “bringing back the bell” whose deep-throated toll rang more than a century ago to herald the start and end of daily trade. The tradition will be reinstated on January 4, 2017 when a new bell is installed to signal the opening and closure of the Market.

Members of the public are currently being invited to submit anecdotes, photos, drawings, memories, experiences, funny encounters and memorabilia of the Market and traders in the ‘My Market Story’ campaign – with submissions being collected here, at the Market office, or by post.

South Melbourne Market will publish a hand-picked collection of these stories online and in their “My Market Story” exhibition that will run throughout May. The exhibition will showcase the Market’s long and colourful history through the eyes of those who have known it best – the traders, shoppers and local residents. A selection of exhibits also will be curated into a digital time capsule for future generations to enjoy.

2017 also brings exciting regular events, including the South Melbourne Night Market, a cultural feast of street food, market stalls and free entertainment and music on balmy Thursday nights throughout January and February. The Port Phillip Mussel & Jazz Festival seafood street party is also returning over the long weekend Sat 11 & Sun 12 March. Both events are designed to bring the community together and great opportunities for people to gather to celebrate good food, cultural diversity and live music.

South Melbourne Market is home to almost 150 stalls selling great quality fresh produce, seriously good coffee and tea, and a vibrant restaurant precinct. As well as the foodstuffs from land to sea, there’s a fabulous collection of independent traders offering everything from homewares to jewellery, eyebrow threading, pet food and vintage books.

For media enquiries please contact:
Greta Donaldson Publicity | (03) 9696 3234 | 0427 658 638