25 August 2023

The markets are back as River & Wren celebrates nine years this Sunday

| Chris Roe
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Nine years on, River & Wren Markets remains a local highlight.

Nine years on, River & Wren Market remains a local highlight. Photo: Supplied.

With warmer weather on the way for the weekend, River & Wren Market manager Emma Grant is looking forward to celebrating the iconic event’s 9th birthday.

“It’ll be nine years on Sunday and we’ve got some family-orientated things planned,” she said.

“We’ll have picnic tables and rugs, and cushions. SMART Pet Rescue will be there with puppy dogs, and we have balloons and roving entertainment with acrobatics just to give it a party vibe.”

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Emma took the reins from founder Jennie Burns in December last year and continues to focus on curating a broad selection of quality handmade goods and local stallholders.

“My first memory of River & Wren Market was driving past the showground and wondering what was going on,” she recalled.

“It was incredible to see all the creativity on display and I was hooked. I’ve hardly missed a market since and, now as owner, I’m so proud to continue the legacy.”

Emma Grant took over River & Wren at the end of 2022 and loves the celebration of local creatives.

Emma Grant took over River & Wren at the end of 2022 and loves the celebration of local creatives. Photo: Supplied.

Beginning with 55 stalls, River & Wren has grown to host more than 100 vendors and sees thousands of visitors wandering the halls each time.

“Over the past nine years, the market has seen plenty of exciting traders, some of whom now have their own shops and brands bigger than a market stall,” Emma said.

“It’s wonderful to see them grow up with the market to help.”

River & Wren offers something for everyone.

River & Wren offers something for everyone. Photo: Supplied.

Emma explained that she had worked to retain the familiar elements of the market and had introduced some new initiatives to keep it fresh and exciting.

Engagement has steadily returned after the COVID-19 interruptions of the past few years and this weekend’s event is set to be one of the biggest, with more than a dozen new stallholders and visitors expected from across the region.

“We’re full as a goog!” Emma laughed.

“We’ve got about 111 stallholders and we’ve still probably got a dozen on the waiting list.”

The River & Wren Markets return on Sunday.

The River & Wren Market returns on Sunday. Photo: Supplied.

Despite the current economic challenges, Emma said market success came down to the product and presentation and could vary from vendor to vendor.

“Depending on what it is that they’re selling, the consumers are weighing up whether or not they think it’s a high enough priority to purchase,” she explained.

“It comes down to the marketing of the product and the relationship that the stallholders build with the customer.”

She’s hoping that people make the most of the weather and get out and support the local micro-businesses selling their wares at the Wagga Showground.

“That’s the big thing. I think a lot of people enjoy coming to River & Wren and they know it’s free to the public, but we do want them to bring their coinage and support our wonderful creatives as well.”

River & Wren Market is on from 10 am to 3 pm this Sunday (27 August) and you can find out more here.

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