Volunteers and stall holders noticed a marked increase in out-of-towners at the Orange Farmers Market on Saturday.
Groups of friends, couples and families from Sydney, Canberra and surrounding towns including Bathurst put on their heaviest winter woolies and visited the market in the Naylor Pavilion at the Orange Showgrounds.
The influx of visitors was so great several stalls sold out of produce mid-morning following a rush of people between 10am and 11am.
Dr Maddy Jega, originally from Sydney and currently living in Bathurst, attended the market and inspected the goods in the company of her Orange-based friend Dorothy Nathan.
She said she came to “check out what’s available”, adding “the bacon and egg roll sold it, and then the wine”.
“It’s pretty good, it’s not too overwhelming, there’s space and there stalls selling a variety of different products, and the music’s good,” Dr Jega said.
Rotary Club of Orange Daybreak market coordinator Ray Fleming said he and the organisation’s other volunteers also noticed more visitors.
“When you do so many markets you get to know the regular market-goers. We’ve had lots from Sydney through and lots from Canberra,” Mr Flemming said.
“Orange has become a destination now.”
Orange Farmers Market manager Holly Manning said holding the markets at the same times – on the second Saturday and the fourth Sunday of each month – has lifted attendance from residents and visitors alike.
She said Orange is also becoming better known as a food desitination and Orange-based hosts and accommodation providers are letting visitors know the markets are on.
“We’re seeing from stall holders, they always talk to their customers, and they are finding way more who are visitors to town,” Ms Manning said.
“The other thing that we’re hoping to encourage is that other people who are putting events on are tying it in with this.”