For over 30 years, the Maryborough Heritage Markets have offered visitors a glimpse of the past amidst 120 stalls piled high with food, produce, craft items and other creative wares. They take place on Adelaide and Ellena Streets on Thursdays from 8 am to 1:30 pm and feature costumed characters that pay homage to the rich history of our town and Queensland in general.
The Maryborough Promotions Bureau’s main motivator for starting these markets back in 1987 was to draw shoppers back to the CBD and offer local small businesses exposure to a wider range of customers. Thursdays were chosen so as not to compete with the Eumundi Markets and over the years these markets have proven to be far more successful than any of the original planners could imagine. Even the Annual Mary Poppins themed market day eventually grew into its own event!
Here’s some of what you’ll find at the Maryborough Festival Markets:
The Town Crier
This fellow serves as one half of the duo of costumed ‘market ambassadors’ that fire the cannon. You’re sure to hear his voice at various points as you stroll past the stalls.
The other half of this duo, Mary Heritage, serves as the Town Crier’s attendant and is a masterful storyteller with a passion for Maryborough.
Mary Ann Steam Train Rides
Shoppers can end their trips with a ride on this replica locomotive that passes along the Mary River.
Heritage Trail Walks
These free tours of Maryborough’s historic sites feature knowledgeable guides dressed in historical costumes. They bring some of the town’s fascinating stories to life as you walk past the places where they took place.
The Time Cannon
At 1 pm the Town Crier and Mary Heritage announce the firing of the cannon to signal the end of the day’s markets. It was first fired in 1878 and for years was used to help those in earshot keep time accurately. Aside from the entertainment value, these markets provide the sort of cultural tourist attraction that is steadily gaining recognition internationally. If you’ve never visited the Heritage Markets yourself, head to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leQaSks8z_Q. They’re much more magnificent in person, of course, but this short video offers a sneak peek at what you can expect. See you next Thursday!