The Night Market returns for the final time this season on Thursday, October 3. This is the third year the fall market is being held in Chinatown. The market has previously been held in a variety of locations, including University City, Northern Liberties and on Washington Avenue. Earlier this summer, three new locations hosted the event: Fairmount, West Oak Lane, and South Street.
The event is hosted by The Food Trust, who also runs a variety of farmers’ markets throughout the city, as well as other initiatives to make fresh and nutritious food more accessible in the city.
The idea of holding the event at night was inspired by markets in Asia, as well as an attempt to bring together people from within the community or from outside of it. This is a benefit for Temple students, because it is rare for many of these trucks to make a lunch stop on campus.
“Night Market Philadelphia was designed to create a community around food in Philadelphia and introduce people to new neighborhoods,” said Ryanne Jennings, Communications Coordinator of The Food Trust. “Holding the events at night brings life, excitement and business to neighborhoods at a time when they might not be filled with people.”
Each event hosts a variety of food trucks and vendors from throughout the city. It can provide a way for customers to have access to tucks that they might not have an opportunity to visit during the day. At Night Market Chinatown, there will be over 60 vendors, including the debut of trucks from Milk + Sugar, SouperVan and Mama’s Meatballs.
The very first night market was held in 2010 on East Passyunk Avenue, and the event has only grown since then. Although all of the events draw crowds, one of the most popular to date was the recent market on South Street this summer.
“Night Market South Street has been, by far, our largest Night Market to date with over 80 vendors, 8 full blocks and over 37,500 people,” Jennings said.
From its start in 2010 until now, the Night Market has been successful at drawing crowds mainly through social media and word of mouth.
“We release all the news about Night Market Philadelphia through our e-mail newsletter first,” Jennings said. “The Food Trust’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds have also been fantastic tools to promote and share information and the fun of Night Market Philadelphia.”
Fighting the crowds may seem like a hassle just to get to a food truck, but there is another option for visitors. In exchange for a donation to The Food Trust, patrons can enter to be crowned King and Queen of the Night Market. The winner and a guest will receive free food and be able to cut the lines at top Night Market food truck picks. “We’ve been searching for a way to help make Night Market Philadelphia more financially sustainable. The King or Queen of Night Market competition makes it fun to support Night Market,” Jennings said.
This last market of the season will run from 7-11 p.m. on October 3. For more information visit nightmarketphilly.org.
Sarae Gdovin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org