Cruise ship arrival marks return of weekend markets
THE Feast on East Markets will have a different vibe on Sunday when P&O's Pacific Explorer docks at Auckland Point.
The visit will be the first weekend cruise ship arrival since the Pacific Jewel docked on December 23.
The Pacific Explorer left Sydney yesterday on its Southern Great Barrier Cruise and will visit Mooloolaba before arriving in Gladstone.
The seven-night cruise will also visit Moreton Bay.
The ship will dock in Gladstone from 9am-7pm, bringing with it 1998 passengers and more than 924 crew.
East Shores will come alive between 9am-5pm, in conjunction with the arrival of the Pacific Explorer.
The event will showcase about 75 stalls from across the region, including arts, handicrafts and food.
Live entertainment from local performers and free children's activities will be held throughout the day.
GAPDL Feast on East Markets and Cruise Coordinator Brigitte James said she was expecting a healthy reception from Gladstone locals given the ship's weekend arrival.
"The biggest point of difference is that it's on a weekend, which allows a lot more people to be able to come down and have a look at the ship and explore the markets," she said.
"For a lot of people that haven't been able to come since our last weekend market last year, we've had quite a change in stalls and have been able to take on more locals and more locally made products.
"Anyone who hasn't been to a weekend market since last year will notice that difference and really enjoy their time there.
"We've got local artists, including a duo Beautifully Broken 1770, who we've never had before."
Ms James said a number of Goondoon St businesses would open on Sunday for the ship's visit.
"If people are coming down to look at the markets they can also go up through the main street and look at the shops there and Library Square will have music on," she said.
"It will be really nice to be in and around the CBD and down at East Shores."