Returning for its sixth year, the popular Coburg Night Market will once again be lighting up Bridges Reserve in the lead-up to Christmas. Running over four Friday nights from the 27th December, the market is run by the same folks who bring you the Suzuki Night Market, and is fast becoming one of the most successful summer events in Melbourne's north. It's also the best place to hear some great local bands and entertainers, with special activities to keep the kids entertained.
Whether it's getting your Christmas shopping wrapped up early, or delicious international food you're after, this years market will have something to satisfy everyone. The market will also feature a range of young designer fashion and artisan stalls for shoppers looking for something a little offbeat and unique. For market-goers in the mood for the mystical you might try sitting down with a tarot or aura reader, or treating your mind and body to a good massage.
The festival opening night kicks off with the local Coburg Primary School band on the main stage, followed by the distinctly Mexican Sin Frontera Trio and award-winning Mick Thomas with Squeezebox Wally. At the Cedar Tree Tent Stage, Juzzie Smith will have you tapping your feet with his infectious blue tunes. For the kids, they'll be a jumping castle and free face painting activities, while the adults can treat themselves to a well-earned beer from the local Coburg Brewing Company.
The multicultural array of food on offer at the night market is sure to tantalise the taste buds, with all meals prepared and cooked fresh on site. From Jamaican to Indian to Eastern European, the hardest part will be deciding what to eat. Melbourne favourites such as Mr Burger will satisfy those food-truck cravings, which will go down well with some refreshing homemade iced tea served up by Those Girls.
Enjoying Twistto at the Coburg Night Markets
Always popular, Twistto will also be returning to the market with their one and only original Korean twist potato. A great option for vegetarians and vegans is The Little Mushroom Co., who have made a name for themselves with their signature mushroom burger, which are seared and marinated in a delicious combination of garlic and spices for a mouth-watering experience.
For those that really want to feel good about their food while indulging a sweet tooth, Crepes For Change might be just the ticket. Enjoy some delicious French crepes, with 100% of the profits going towards helping alleviate youth homelessness. Follow the irresistible scent of warm Nutella to discover a unique crepe van started by a group of young Melbourne entrepreneurs, led by founder Dan Poole. One of the goals of Crepes For Change is to help employ, support and train young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to help them find their feet. What could be sweeter than that?
Unfortunately all good things must come to an end, with closing night on the 18th December set to be packed with events and entertainment. The main stage will host the instrumental talents of Perch Creek, a five-piece band consisting of four siblings who create energetic harmony driven roots music. Melbourne Djembe will also be livening up the market with their fantastic West African rhythms.
For a unique market experience that will inspire your green thumb be sure to head down to the enviro zone, where you can plant your own veggies, herbs and flowers. It's also worth having a look at what's on offer at social enterprise 2 & 5 inc. for their unbeatable jams, chutneys and relishes made from organic market produce. 2 & 5 inc. are on a mission to provide fresh food to disadvantaged areas that is not only healthy but sustainable and affordable. You might find the perfect foodie gift.
As the days get longer and the nights balmier, don't waste your Friday nights. Grab your friends and family and head on down to the Coburg Night Markets to make the most of those precious Summer evenings.