Iconic market going strong

Article image - Iconic market going strong The bustling St Kilda Esplanade Market.

A popular market in the City of Port Phillip in Melbourne has been operating for nearly 50 years and remains a popular tourism drawcard.

For the last 47 years, the St Kilda Esplanade Market has been showcasing art, craft and design every Sunday set against the iconic backdrop of St Kilda Beach and Luna Park.

Over the years, the market has retained a distinctive character – some stallholders have even been there since the very first hot February day back in 1970. It has a very clear manifesto ensuring that everything sold at the market must be made by its seller.

The City of Port Phillip took over the management of the market back in 2010. At that stage, the market was in rapid decline, but since the takeover, growth has increased. In the last 12 months stallholder applications have more than doubled.

The market now adheres to a new Strategic Plan and stallholders operate under a comprehensive Code of Conduct to ensure the market retains its authentic local handmade arts and crafts manifesto ensuring the visitor experience is at the forefront.

With the success of the market comes more people and just to be extra safe for everyone involved, Council went the extra mile to implement an Emergency Management Plan to ensure the safety and amenity of all. An extensive renewal project began in 2015, which saw the introduction of six busking areas, 175 remarked stalls with sturdy anchor points, DDA compliant footpath access, extra seating, an information and staff marquee, Esplanade parking upgrade with bump in zones, and the introduction of food tucks to entice visitors to stay longer on the Esplanade.

The St Kilda Esplanade Market is also one of the only remaining dog-friendly Markets in Melbourne.

Stallholders are so dedicated and passionate about their craft that they trade every Sunday excluding the weekend of the annual St Kilda Festival.