All stalls full for Thieves’ Alley day

Market attire .. Dunedin City Council community events co-ordinator Marilyn Anderson is set for the annual Thieves' Alley Market Day in central Dunedin on Saturday. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE


The annual Thieves’ Alley Market Day is a sell-out.

Dunedin City Council community events co-ordinator Marilyn Anderson said the market was “organised chaos”.

All 250 stalls at the market this Saturday had been sold.

Stalls will line both sides of Bath St, the Octagon carriageway, the lower Octagon and sections of lower Stuart, George and Princes Sts.

The market has been running for 35 years.

The market this year had attracted more stallholders from the North Island than before, she said.

Stallholders would travel from Howick, Katikati, Rotorua, Tauranga and Titahi Bay to take part, she said.

The council had changed the date of the market so it was the day after the Southern Field Days in Gore finished, in a bid to attract more stallholders.

The market had traditionally been held before the field days.

Stalls at the market were run by a mix of community groups and commercial enterprises.

The commercial enterprises were charged twice the fee to run a stall, Ms Anderson said.

A crowd of more than 30,000 people was expected at the market, she said.

Among the crowd would be passengers and crew from two cruise ships – Azamara Journey and Ruby Princess – and students returning to the city, and The Otago Southland Pipe Band Contest participants and supporters.

Scores of entertainers, including musician Kelvin Cummings and magician Jonathan Usher, would be performing on three stages in the market.

A food court would run in the central area of the lower Octagon.

Tips to survive the market were to “take it easy, don’t push and take your time”.

“If you rush, you could be upsetting someone else”.

Thieves’ Alley was an “affectionate term” for Bath St, Ms Anderson said.

“It’s only held once a year, so people look forward to it.”

  • Bath St is closed to traffic from 5am on Saturday and stallholders will be setting up from about 6.30am. The market closes about 4pm.