Lismore Car Boot Market treasure celebrates 25 years

Garry Holmes a Carboot Market regular
Garry Holmes a Carboot Market regular Mireille Merlet-Shaw

LISMORE painter and Lismore Car Boot Market treasure Garry Holmes reckons he was the first person to register as a stallholder 25 years ago when "boot" manager Marny Bonner put the word out.

"I remember some people saying it wouldn't work. But the guy next to me sold out of ponytail plants by 9.30am and I sold a lot of paintings and we thought 'this is going to be great'," Mr Holmes said.

But that's the beauty of the boot. "You can look at the weather or the stock market but you never know how it's going to go," he said.

In 25 years, Garry has only missed a handful of markets due to throat cancer two years ago.

Over that time he has sold hundreds of Australian landscape paintings, but his gift for the gab - a stallholder essential - was honed over 40 years tending the bars of Lismore.

For the past 25 years, it is estimated that 3.3 million people have attended the markets, with more than 6000 people attending twice each month.

The Lismore institution's unwavering popularity means that all those $4 face paintings and $5 ferns add up to a serious boost to the local economy.

According to Lismore City Council figures the Car Boot Market is estimated to bring between $1.3 million and $2.4 million a year to Lismore.

The average market provides employment for more than 200 people per market and supports at least 250 households.

Stall-holders anticipate a buzz for this week's boot as the community celebrates 25 years in the region with great live music and birthday giveaways.

Garry's tips for a beaut 'boot'

  • Try it as an alternative to having a garage sale. It's a lot more private, but a lot more popular.
  • Stick at it. If at first you don't succeed try again and keep positive. You'll get there.
  • Take an extra chair or two. You'll always find a friend for a chat.
  • Sellers need to get out from behind those pillars. Don't be a stranger.
  • Never try to predict how you'll go in the morning. Just look forward to a good day.

Topics:  car boot market, lismore



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