The clip-clop of pony rides, a 20-cent entry fee and the smell of home cooked goodies fill the Sunday ritual of the Evandale Market.
The market is arguably just one of two things the small country town is known for, penny farthings being the other.
Market coordinator Peter Woolf said the event was more than 40 years old.
“The market was started a long time ago. I think it was 1976. The owner of the antiques shop here in Evandale, Phill, started it. Then I bought it off him about 25 years ago,” he said.
The grounds were originally used for the Evandale Show, before the fun day out moved to a bigger facility and folded just years later.
Mr Woolf said the site was often used for other community events during the week.
“The market runs there and he Glover Prize uses the building. The hall will actually have a concert next month for the Chamber of Music, so it does actually get used for other purposes,” he said.
On average 3000 people attend the market each week, which has about 150 stallholders.
“On a good day we might get 5000 people including children. It does get well supported. One of the stallholders comes from below Huonville over the winter. So it’s like a six-hour return trip for him,” Mr Woolf said.
“We have about 15 people who drive over two hours to have a stall. It’s a pretty good commitment.”
The market’s reputation, which brings the town alive, has been slowly built.
“Originally there was parking on the ground, five stalls outside the building and maybe 20 stalls inside. It’s slowly got bigger and bigger,” Mr Woolfe said.
“It just gradually grew and grew and grew. Then we ended up getting a carpark and the grounds became the market, it’s been a gradual process, not instantaneous.”
The key to the market’s success was because its location is a mere 15-minute drive from Launceston, Mr Woolf said.
“You go through a bit of countryside to get here, so it feels like a destination. People drive 15 minutes to Riverside and that’s not a journey,” he said.
“The market also has a bit of everything from farmers selling produce, to antiques, to politicians. It’s a real market.”
Mr Woolf said the market was good for the town, suggesting Evandale businesses rely on it.
“Most of the people in Evandale enjoy the market and like having it around. It certainly brings a lot of people out here, which would help a lot of the local businesses that might not have survived without it,” he said.
The market runs every Sunday, in all weather, from 8am until 1pm.
“I can’t see it diminishing any time soon,” Mr Woolf said.