Churchill "Shop Local" May Day Market

What glorious sunshine we woke up to on Saturday May 1; the day of our May Day Market! Just the weather to be outdoors and visiting the Churchill Shopping Centre.

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A last-minute decision was made to have our Market Stalls outdoors – some at West Place and some around Hazelwood Village. Stall-holders were pleased to be out in the warm weather and it certainly added to the atmosphere!

It also made it easier to comply with safety precautions against COVID– had we held the market indoors at the Town Hall as planned, we’d have had to limit the number of folk able to enter and browse at any one time.

Instead, people were able to browse the stalls at their leisure, line up with their children for the free face-painting at Hazelwood Village, listen to the music provided by Bryce Wright at West Place (and later at Hazelwood Village); grab a free sausage or two from either of the two BBQs and make their Saturday morning purchases at our local stores.

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It was great to see so many people turn out on the day, do their shopping (even the Lifeline Store opened specially for shoppers that Saturday!), have a coffee with friends or just gather outside to catch up with friends.

There were extra smiles too, from the people who won shopping vouchers to spend at Churchill businesses!

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In total, the team from Shop Local gave away four $50 supermarket vouchers, five $50 vouchers to use at Churchill Private Dental Clinic and 20 x $10 vouchers to be used at a range of Churchill’s retail outlets.

Every business in the Churchill CBD benefited from at least one free voucher to be used in their store, encouraging locals to support our local stores. The majority of these vouchers were paid for from the funding the Shop Local Program has received.

Latrobe Neighbourhood Watch cooked the Sausage Sizzle at Hazelwood Village and had a steady stream of vehicles arrive to have their number plates fitted with anti-theft screws (for a small donation). They were pleased, as we were, to see so many people turn up to have this simple fit-out done to help prevent number plate thefts.

Abigail and Rebecca from Churchill Neighbourhood Centre (CNC) set up a BBQ opposite the Post Office at West Place and a steady stream of people partook of the free sausages. Many thanks to them for all their hard work on the day and in the lead up to this event, organising the Craft Market and being the contact people for inquiries, volunteer helpers and all those involved.

Churchill & District Community Association (CDCA) successfully applied to Latrobe City Council’s Business and Economic Development Unit for funding to support our planned Shop Local events in 2021. This funding, along with some of CDCA’s own reserves, is being used for the costs of providing free entertainment and sausage sizzles and to cover the costs of the free shopping vouchers so that businesses are not out-of-pocket.

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A special shout-out to those Churchill businesses that supported the May Shop Local event with donations – AA Accounting, Churchill Private Dental Clinic, Ritchies IGA, Woolworths and Churchill Hotel.

The Churchill – Shop Local program is a partnership between CDCA, CNC and Churchill & District News that aims to support Churchill businesses and encourage residents to Shop Local.

Our next Shop Local event will be the Winter Market (a week before Fathers Day) on the morning of Saturday August 28. Contact Churchill Neighbourhood Centre on 5120 3850 if you wish to book a stall for the Craft Market.