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Weekend markets sprout from Albany Show’s COVID-19 cancellation

The cancellation of the Albany Show has brought with it a silver lining, with a new weekly fresh produce and artisan market set to launch with a bang on show weekend in November.

In June, the Albany Agricultural Society made the decision to cancel this year’s show for the eighth time in its 129-year history because of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 restrictions.

But what was a disappointing decision for the committee has made way for an opportunity to launch the Albany Central Markets.

After the launch, the markets will become a new hub of fresh local produce, open every Saturday and Sunday.

The market will launch as part of the Albany Agricultural Society Open Field Days on November 13 and 14.

The two-day celebration is set to offer a small selection of the crowd favourites that would have been on display at the cancelled Albany Agricultural Show.

AAS president Rob Wright said the field days would offer a scaled-back event featuring carnival rides, displays, showjumping, livestock, exhibitions, shearing and food vans.

Fireworks will light up the skies on Friday and Saturday evening.

“It won’t be a full-blown show because we can’t control that enough with our COVID-19 requirements,” he said.

“If we scale it down and work it out right, we think we’d be able to create a really interesting weekend.

“It will be absolutely free — there will be no admission charges, so people come and go as they please.”

Mr Wright said the Western Pavilion would make for a vibrant weekly meeting place for people to catch up, enjoy some live music and sample the region’s best produce.

The committee aimed to bring Albany’s existing markets together under the one roof.

He said the underused undercover pavilion was a spacious venue with plenty of parking and flexible facilities.

“It’s been coming for a long time,” he said.

“The idea is to simply be able to put it in a venue where everyone can just relax and enjoy it — out of the weather.”

The AA is calling for stallholder expressions of interest at albanyshow.org.au.

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