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Friday Nights under Joondalup Lights
As the Christmas season kicks into full gear, the dreamy town of Joondalup answers the call with their weekly Twilight Market. Every Friday from now until December 16th the Central Walk in the town centre is transformed. Vendors arrive early and make preparations and revelers are expected to arrive promptly at or just before 5:30PM.￼
Its arrival is subtle and sudden. A quick loop of the town mere hours before won't reveal a community on the verge of festivus. If you are traveling quickly and don't happen to notice a posted sign or catch the quickly uttered references you will have no notion of what is to come. As the hour draws nearer at hand you may notice an increase of energy and commotion echoing down the alleys. Just across from the library the aptly named Central Walk has erupted into a flurry of movement as market booths have grown to fill the space. Attendants layout their goods in eye-catching rows, stalls cozied one against the other creating warm spaces in which to peruse the wares.
For those who need to feed the belly before any actual haggling should occur the main drag is bookended by food stalls to suit every palate. Grab a chili and cheese bratwurst before bee-lining to the raw Bliss Balls and rattle your way down to the pseudo courtyard to dine. Get to the "Spanish Paella" stand early as they make one large paella every twenty minutes and it disappears in half that time or hop on over to Marcelita's Empanadas and get a sampler of their made to order delicacies. Pop into Paddy Malone's or Down the Hatch (make sure to remove any cranial accessories as the latter has a strict policy) to quench your thirst with a pint of some local brew.
The guys hard at work on a chicken and chorizo paella.
After satisfying the need to feed, head back out to the booths to find unique gifts for anyone on your Christmas list, or more realistically yourself. Those with an affinity for self-sufficient and beautiful greenery should angle toward the Boocy Botanics display where succulents and cacti are lovingly placed into up-cycled and newly crafted receptacles. If looking for romantic sketches and prints seek out Rennie Langham and her fellow artists for some unique and haunting imaginings. Paper Crab offers delicate, finely curated jewellery and trinkets and earthier versions of the same ilk can be found down the way at Ash and Oak. Under the simple header of Woodturners, you will find the most finely crafted wooden objects to suit any need all made by a group of local artisans. Musicians are scattered at key points in the t-shaped market lending more magic to the festival air with their melodies.
Succulents potted and placed into handsome up-cycled receptacles.
Children are welcome at the market as well and the council has taken great care to make sure they are both cared for and entertained. There is an entire area dedicated to face-painting, balloon moulding, and many other activities. Often you will see a woman dressed in full pirate regalia leading a troop of younglings on an imaginary treasure hunt throughout the market. Singing, dancing, and general carousing all to keep the tiny humans as engaged as possible while mommas and poppas explore the booths.
One father guarding balloon creations for his little ones.
There are only two Twilight Markets left this year so if you are anywhere near Joondalup between 5:30 and 9PM on December 9th or 16th grab a parking space at the library or on the street (conveniently free of charge after 5PM) and dive in. Be sure to bring a fair bit of cash and an appetite.