Inspired by Asia’s lively outdoor markets, Night Market Philadelphia will return Thursday, June 26 to West Oak Lane on 72nd and Ogontz avenues from 6-10 p.m.
The Night Market will showcase over 50 of Philly’s ethnic and regional restaurants and food trucks, and provide a night of lively entertainment, sponsored by The Food Trust.
The Food Trust, originally called the Farmer’s Market Trust, is a Philadelphia organization run by more than 100 employees that battles the problem of food deserts in low-income areas. Since its start 20 years ago, according to their mission statement, The Food Trust has pursued ensuring Philadelphians access to affordable, nutritious food and information to make healthy decisions.
Meghan Walsh, project coordinator, has been with The Food Trust for about five years, two of which have been spent planning events like Night Market to spread awareness and access to information.
Walsh said last month’s event in Old City was a success, which sprang planning this month’s market into action.
“We don’t want a neighborhood to feel like we are coming in and taking over,” Walsh said. “We work with them, collaborating with the restaurants there, so that we reflect the neighborhood feel.”
An attendee of Night Market should expect a wide variety of food, music, and plenty of room to dance, according to Walsh.
“We shut down the street where the food trucks are lined up,” Walsh said. “West Oak is always very musical, people dancing and singing in the streets to the music.”
This time around, the stage will welcome Joie Kathos, DJ Jazzy Joe and Philly Reggae Band, three Philadelphia-based groups.
Undrgrnd Doughnuts, a specialty doughnut truck, along with PBandU, a truck devoted to variations of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, offer fun twists to some classic favorites. Relish, which offers a southern-inspired menu, will be setting up outside their store on Ogontz to offer a variety of chicken and waffle dishes.
Partnering with The Food Trust for the evening is Bloktoberfest, a celebration of beer, food and music that will provide drinks to the 21+ crowd.
The Food Trust originally started with a small Farmer’s Market at Tasker Homes, a public housing development in South Philadelphia in 1992. Once a week, the Farmer’s Market trust would bring in tables of fresh produce-the only source for the community in miles.
On their website, Food Trust founder Duane Perry wrote, “People hadn’t seen that kind of quality produce in their neighborhood before.”
The Night Market is only one of the events and outreaches The Food Trust chairs, however it is a small opportunity for community members and food lovers to celebrate the culture of the West Oak Lane neighborhood.
Paige Gross can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.