Adelaide is a city that draws deeply from its food industry. Yet South Australians are so accustomed to the abundance of international cuisine here, it’s easy to take the multifaceted local food scene for granted.
Enter the Lucky Dumpling Market, which is back to remind us all just how great Adelaide’s food culture is, according to the event’s joint director Daniel Michael.
“We’ve got so many different cultures in Adelaide, and Lucky Dumpling is about embracing and showcasing all the different foods from Asia that are here. You get to sit down, enjoy the beautiful scenery of the River Torrens and sample delicious flavours of Asia,” says Michael.
Open from this Friday, October 30, until Sunday, November 15, the event will be the first of its kind to be staged following the lifting of coronavirus restrictions.
“It will be a very similar event to last year’s Lucky Dumpling, except that it will be very spread out. The site is about three-and-a-half times bigger than last year,” says Michael.
“It’s going to be between the rotunda and the Festival Centre at the gorgeous Elder Park, with a nice view of the lake with the paddle boats and Popeye there. So it’s much bigger.
“And people that work in the events industry, from plumbers to tent people, suppliers and fencing companies, are all very excited to finally be doing an event again.”
Festival-goers will be spread out and encouraged to socially distance. There are two separate entrances and exits, twice as much seating and visitors may bring their own picnic rugs to sit on the Elder Park lawns.
“More sitting and less moving around is definitely preferable, so that’s something that we’ll be encouraging,” says Michael.
The market will boast 17 food stalls and three bars, including the Sake Hut, and a new Yalumba wine bar with an elevated viewing deck to take in the river views. There will also be a stage featuring performances from local artists.
COVID-safe measures include card-only purchasing, contact tracing records via QR code, and hand sanitising stations.
“Lucky Dumpling Market represents an ideal opportunity for us to establish sensible COVID-safe measures at our events and introduce our patrons to new styles of public event design and processes,” says Michael.
The 2019 OzAsia Festival was hailed as the most successful to date and saw 88,000 people flock to the Lucky Dumpling Market on the riverbank.
This year, the market is the only live aspect of OzAsia festival, with COVID-19 forcing the cancellation of the popular Moon Lantern Parade, which last year attracted a crowd of 38,000. Meanwhile, the program has been shifted to a series of online talks and panel discussions.
Presented by the team behind the Adelaide Fringe hub, Gluttony, in collaboration with OzAsia, The Lucky Dumpling Market will host free, live entertainment including music, dance and community activations, with a focus on local.
“Lucky Dumpling Market is seeking expressions of interest from performers to entertain on stage at the Market,” says Michael.
“In keeping with the values of Lucky Dumpling Market, acts that celebrate cultures of Asia are particularly desirable. People of Asian identity or heritage are encouraged to apply and these are paid slots.”
The Lucky Dumpling Market has become increasingly popular each year since it was established in 2017. “People have found their groove with it,” Michael says.
“Most stalls have a range of different-sized dishes, so you can get an entree with a few dumplings or you can get a full main. People will graze and have a couple of wines or a beer while they’re doing it over the day.
“Each year, more and more families are coming in, because it’s a safe, happy kind of environment for kids to be in. You can sit down in the park and the kids can run around and see some pelicans cruising around on the River Torrens.”
The market is open Tuesday to Friday from 4.30pm, Saturday and Sunday from noon, and will be closed Mondays.
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