A beetroot and chocolate cake, live music and a crowd of supporters helped celebrate the Slow Food Earth Market Maitland's third birthday in The Levee yesterday.
And what a grand celebration it was. Buskers provided the Happy Birthday tune and the crowd of shoppers, farmers, producers and volunteers sang along.
The milestone even attracted the attention of not one but three politicians - Maitland Mayor Cr Loretta Baker, Paterson MP Meryl Swanson and Lyon MP David Gillespie - sending a clear message about just how important the market has become.
Ms Swanson even paid tribute to The Mercury for helping to kickstart the market and praised the paper's drought campaign, which fought for a fair go for struggling farmers.
She recounted the market's history from the very first impromptu pumpkin stall and noted it had survived the worst drought in living memory and the lack of soil moisture it brought.
Market chairwoman Amorelle Dempster praised the Slow Food Hunter Valley volunteers for helping to make the market a reality.
Related:Pumpkin eaters come out in force
"They are very dedicated to the market and to growing local food systems and they have put in a lot of work and volunteer hours to make this market the success that it is," she said.
"We couldn't do it without them and we are so grateful for their contribution, and so are the farmers and the producers."
Earth Markets Maitland is giving away 5 food hampers from the market to celebrate the event. Go to their Facebook page for details.
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