Long waiting list for Feast on East markets
THE chance to sell locally made products to visitors from major cities has proved so popular there are 70 stallholders sitting on the waiting list.
There's that same number of stalls that will be set up along East Shores in exactly one week when the first cruise ship arrives, carrying 2000 people.
On March 10, the passengers will step off the Pacific Dawn and be welcomed by 74 stallholders eager to sell their wares including hand made candles, locally made clothing and our region's claim to beer fame Baffle Creek Beer.
For those on the waiting list, the only hope of being involved is that someone else will pull out of the event.
Despite the interest, organisers at Gladstone Area Promotions Development Limited say they won't be making any extra space for market stalls.
GAPDL Feast on East Markets and Cruise Coordinator Brigitte James said the available space was already at capacity and extending the string of market stalls was both impossible and unwise.
"It's mid-week so it's unlikely many locals will be able to attend and we don't want 200 stalls where no one sells anything," Ms James said.
"This soft opening is only 2000 people so we have to keep it relevant to the size of people coming."
The second market date, Sunday, March 20, has also been finalised, however Ms James said those who missed out this time might be able to be included in the future.
Businesses within walking distance are also preparing themselves, she said, with many confirming they will open on the Sunday to ensure the town is a hive of activity for the visitors who haven't booked into organised tours.
"The mobile information centre, and the volunteer 'Cruise Ambassadors', will also be at East Shores with more information about activities on offer," Ms James said.