Words by KIERAN FINNANE
Pictures by ERWIN CHLANDA
“Put it on and they will come” – the alternative to “build it” delivers on its promise. What’s more it creates excellent money-making and creative opportunities for people willing to have a go.
When consultants Steve Thorne and Paul Carter reported on the revitalisation of the mall, there was strong emphasis on what Dr Carter called a “program” – in other words, activities. It would be every bit as important as any bricks and mortar renovations, he stressed.
The markets, whether on Sundays or at night, demonstrate over and over again that this is so. The night ones are now 10 years old.
The crowds poured in last night: there was entertainment for the kiddies, food stalls – including one for smoothies relying on a bicycle-powered blender – arts and crafts, clothing, accessories. Above all, there was the vibe of people being out together enjoying themselves, with all comers welcome. An experience of community.
And the first of five pop-ups planned for the coming weeks opened its doors, the Full Stop. Pop Shop, where five creative women were plying their wares (above, and below right). With a few deft touches they have transformed the empty shop – when have long sheets of brown paper looked so elegant? And what they had on offer matched the ambience: things of beauty, to wear and to have around you, were running out the door.
The night markets were a taste of things to come: tonight the mall will come alive again with the Alice Desert Festival lantern parade from 6.30, followed by a free concert at the Festival Club in Wills Terrace, featuring Bunna Lawrie & Coloured Stone.