28 June 2022

The first of its kind, the Narooma Winter Night Markets Festival is coming to town

| Evelyn Karatzas
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Indigenous dancers

The Djaadjawan Dancers will be performing at the Narooma Winter Night Markets. Photo: Djaadjawan Dancers Facebook.

A jam-packed evening full of performers, cultural activities, stallholders, food and more is coming to Narooma.

Taking place on Saturday, 2 July, from 4:30 pm to 9:30 pm, the Narooma Winter Night Markets Festival will bring something for everyone, uniting the Narooma community with local flavours, cultures and traditions.

Winter Night Markets Festival director Sally Bouckley said the new South Coast event will showcase Yuin First Nations Culture through a festival of Koori dance, music, stories, food, art and crafts.

“It all came about from an events grant I received from the Eurobodalla Shire Council to bring some nightlife to Narooma in wintertime and to encourage people to come in from interstate to visit Narooma,” she said.

“The main focus of this inaugural event for me was to include a First Nations component.

“It was always something I wanted to do and I think it’s really going to bring awareness to the rich culture in the region, especially to anyone from interstate.”

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As Naidoc week starts on 3 July, Ms Bouckley said they decided to hold the festival on 2 July, to lead into it and tie the community together.

“It’s really coming together now. We’ve got some great vendors, some great music and were making it a very festive event.”

The festival will open with a Welcome to Country ceremony and then a traditional Smoking Ceremony. Performances by the acclaimed Djaadjawan and Mudadha Gamara Dancers will follow.

“Later in the evening, in the Elders Tent, Yuin knowledge holders will be sharing stories that have been told around campfires for thousands of years,” she said.

“We expect our community will dance the night away to live music from Matty Walker, Richard Luland, Gabbadu and rock band The fReds with DJ Another Luke spinning the decks.

“As well as music and cultural activities, we’ll have communal fire pits to keep everyone warm and plenty of street food and seasonal goodies to try.”

There will also be plenty of stallholders selling local art, crafts, jewellery and more.

A Dog Fashion Show will also be taking place. Ms Bouckley said for every dog that enters, they will receive a 10 per cent discount voucher to use at a new local groomer in Narooma.

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After receiving the grant three months ago, Ms Bouckley said there had been a quick turnaround to do an event of this size.

“The venue will take up to 5000 people; however, we are hoping to get anywhere between 2000 and 3000 people attending the festival,” she said.

“While this year’s event is commercial, for future years, a not-for-profit company will be set up with predominantly First Nations People being on the board.

“The aim is that it will continue to have a strong First Nations focus, especially with the Djaadjawan Dancers.”

The Narooma Winter Night Market Festival caters to families and people of all ages and will be taking place at Nata Oval in Narooma.

Tickets to the event are $25 per person for general entry (under-16 free) or $95 for VIP entry- which includes a welcome drink, canapes, seating and a DJ in the VIP Tipi Bar.

To book tickets, visit Narooma Night Markets.

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