Within half an hour of opening, the inaugural Lismore Eats event was inundated with hundreds of hungry punters ready for dinner, and it wasn’t long before stall holders were under the pump as the crowds swelled at the Lismore showgrounds.
Founder Jacob Stone was pleasantly surprised to have to be setting up quite a few more tables and chairs than he had expected on Friday evening and it was hard to find a car space as hundreds came to see what was cooking.
Jacob said that Lismore is home to a great community of people who really enjoy food and he wanted to cater to that. ‘Over the past couple of years, with “Eat the Street” and other events, we really noticed there was a need for food stalls, and I felt we needed a market dedicated to food that would rotate through the stall holders.’
Stone who is a Lismore local, said he was really impressed with the turnout. ‘It’s been going for less than an hour and people are loving it. Everyone have been saying it’s really good to have a place on Friday night to come down and do something that’s family friendly at the end of the week.’
Though few in number, the food vendors managed to feed the hungry hordes and the event looks set to grow. ‘We’ve got 12 stalls here and a couple of rides,’ said Jacob. ‘I already have eight stalls booked for next month who aren’t here this time, so it looks like we will be at least doubling what we have this time.’
The market will be held every month on the last Friday at the showgrounds. ‘The final Friday of the month means that all the foodies who have regular markets on regular weekends will have it at different times in their schedule – sometimes the fourth weekend, sometimes the fifth and sometimes going into the first weekend of the next month. So what is available might be different each time.’
Next month Lismore Eats will start at 4pm. ‘We are going to consider community feedback and decide what times suit – maybe even pushing it back earlier in the day. If we could open at 3.30pm when the schools are out that would be my ideal.’
At stumps Jacob said that based on stallholder feedback he estimated 2000 people attended the event. ‘To say the food vans were busy is an understatement. Everyone was caught by surprise by the turnout, there were over 250 serves per food stall in a two hour window.
‘I’m so proud of Lismore,’ he said. ‘And next month will be bigger!’