The Channon craft markets
10 August 14
On the second Sunday of the month, a sleepy village in northern NSW comes alive with an extraordinary selection of hand-made or home-grown artisan items. The Channon craft market is legendary for the eclectic range or products on show and makes a terrific weekend outing for anyone living within a two-hour radius (which includes the Gold Coast and Brisbane).
I’ve been hearing about The Channon markets ever since we first started fulltime travelling in 2010. We haven’t been in the region at the right time until today, and I was interested to see how such a long-standing affair is operated, especially in contrast to other, smaller markets the one like at Nimbin.
Many of the stallholders have been participating in these markets for years. The non-profit market organisation held to a strict “Make, Bake or Grow It” policy until 2012 when they started allowing stall-holders to sell some goods other than what they had made, providing that the non-handmade/home-grown component was less than 25% of the stall’s stock on offer. A few stalls offer second-hand products, but the majority of them showcase the region’s wonderful artistic talent. Have a look.
After 3pm, the market starts packing down, and the crowds subside. Those who’ve driven here from the city for the day get back in their cars and make their way home. And that’s when the locals come out to play, with a drum circle that sets a beat which entices others to dance until whole families are playing and dancing around the rainbow tent.
I knew that The Channon markets were exceptional with the quality and variety of hand-made goods, but I didn’t expect the atmosphere of the drum circle at the end. Children danced alongside their parents, drummers took turns on the skins, everyone was laughing and smiling. Perhaps a visit to The Channon markets is worth it just for this — free entertainment where your enjoyment is limited only by your own inhibitions!
The Channon craft markets are next open on September 14, but you can keep track of the dates here. If you’re inclined to enjoy shopping for something different, it’s a great place to come. Otherwise come for the fun atmosphere and free dance-party in the afternoon — you won’t regret the experience!