It’s the most wonderful time of the year—when Sydneysiders are able to buy fresh prawns, clams, and lobsters in the dead of night.
The Sydney Fish Market’s annual 36-Hour Seafood Marathon will begin at 5 a.m. on Thursday, and retailers won’t be packing up until 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
The fish bonanza has been running every year at the iconic markets at Sydney’s Blackwattle Bay for more than two decades.
The event usually attracts 100,000-plus customers, purchasing more than 370 tonnes of seafood.
Sydney Fish Market CEO Greg Dyer said the marketplace is expecting high visitor numbers and people should plan ahead.
Early birds catch the fish, with the first four hours of the marathon usually one of the quietest times to drop by.
The hours between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Dec. 23 and between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. on Christmas Eve are also traditionally quieter.
Things ramp up throughout the 36 hours, with Christmas Eve tending to see more foot traffic than Dec. 23.
Santa Claus will also drop by the event, before he starts his round-the-world trip on his sleigh.
Customers will be able to pick up the local seafood they need for their Christmas lunches from one of the six wet fish retailers.
But there’s also a butcher, greengrocer, bakery, deli, gift shop, and bottle shop on-site.
“Our retailers have ample supply of Aussie favourites like prawns, oysters, and salmon alongside lesser-known delicacies such as Sea Urchin, Scorpion Fish and Bonito,” said Dyer.
“The beauty of the fish market is the abundance and diversity of seafood that you won’t find elsewhere.”
While visitors don’t need to be vaccinated, there’ll be QR code check-ins, indoor capacity limits and controlled queuing, the market says.
By Hannah Ryan