25 September 2023

Molong’s top ‘marketing’ performance

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By John Rozentals.

The Molong Rec looks great … but the talk is of a green drought.

Okay, I’m just slightly biased. For the past five years I’ve called the small NSW Central West town of Molong home. Transplanting myself there from Sydney was the best move I’d ever made.

I’ve lived in quite a few places around Australia, and nowhere have I been made as immediately welcome as in Molong.

I was quite chuffed when the sun arose on a gorgeous Easter morning to welcome the town markets in their relatively recent home — the Dr Ross Memorial Recreation Ground, known locally just as the Rec.

Talking tactics … entertainer Allan Caswell and markets organiser Marj Bollinger.

The Rec has quite a history, including having been a campsite for the Cooee March that encouraged quite a few enlistments as it wound its way to Sydney in 1915.

With its newish white-picket fence, lush grass covering and shiny green poplar trees it did look a pretty picture. I’d venture that the markets so efficiently organised there that day by Marj Bollinger and her team from the Molong Advancement Group — affectionately dubbed MAG — were easily the best in the land, but then I would make that claim.

Cooking up a storm … MAG volunteers barbecue breakfast.

The vast majority of the record 130 stallholders and the many hundreds of visitors certainly thought so.

I don’t think that I’ve seen Marj prouder and happier — at least not since the council-anti-amalgamation victory of a few years ago — than when she landed country singer-guitarist-composer Allan Caswell as a special guest performer for those Molong Markets.

“There are people everywhere,” she said at about 2pm, “People everywhere.”

And she was quite right about that … and her statement that there was something there for just about everyone.

Rides for kids of all ages … some with real grunt.

For kids, there were plenty of rides, including of the plenty-of-horsepower type on a motorcycle-powered trike, face-painting and a fancy jumping castle.

For adults, thee were stalls aplenty selling crafty things, gardening materials and homewares. Sometimes the things were a combination of all of the above.

There was plenty to eat and drink, starting at 8am with barbecued bacon-and-egg rolls and even including a taste of some ‘breakfast port’ for the desperate.

Pouring a sample … Helen Armstrong of Twisted River.

And then there was Marj’s new boyfriend singing both country classics and some of his own material — “Just don’t call it coffee,” Allan implored.

But what’s really for sale was Molong itself — and so far as this scribe is concerned it really doesn’t need any promotion.

The only thing that Marj got wrong was the weather forecast. It didn’t look like three inches of rain when the markets closed that afternoon.

The next market will be held on the Molong Rec on the Monday of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend — June 10.

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