An international conference of Jehovah Witnesses is expected to break attendance records at Etihad Stadium this weekend with up to 75,000 delegates attending.
Traders reported huge crowds on Thursday at QVM with one trader describing our market as a meeting place for delegates with all the ingredients of a community hub. The photo on the right shows delegates from Tasmania and Pennsylvania getting together at a trader's stall.
The conference marks the centenary of an important event on the Jehovah's Witnesses calendar as Melbourne's 11,000 devotees are joined by delegates from all over the world. The event goes for three days, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and is expected to add $50m to Victoria's economy. We are not sure how much free time delegates will have once the conference gets into full swing on Friday but hopefully many will find time to visit us over the weekend.
Once again we need to ask how appropriate it is for our market to close mid-afternoon when crowds like this will be looking for entertainment after their conference closes each day.