The Night Market Shuts Down Civic Center Drive for Moon Festival
What: The Night Market
When: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday, September 10
Where: Civic Center Drive, between 2nd Street and Center street, and Mayo Civic Center Riverfront plaza
After a successful summer of bi-weekly, smaller-scale markets, our family of vendors is ready for the big time. From 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on September 10, the Civic Center Drive will be closed to traffic, and open for a mid-autumn Moon Festival Night Market featuring over 60 vendors.
This final Night Market of 2022 coincides with the Chinese mid-autumn festival, or Moon Festival (which is also celebrated throughout Asia). During this festival, families admire the moon, share mooncakes and pomelo fruits, grill sausages, and tell stories about the moon (like the legend of Chang’e, who floated to the moon after eating immortality pills meant for her husband). And, in Taiwan, at least, the celebration takes over the streets, including tiny boulevard grill parties.
Rochester’s Moon festival is designed to be similar. We are closing down Civic Center Drive from 2nd street to Center Street and filling it up with more vendors than we’ve ever assembled.
These are the Night Market all-stars: Taiwanese Sausages’ salt and pepper chicken will be there, as will cold noodles from Jaba Noodles and this summer’s runaway success: South East Asian Taste’s meatballs will be paired with fresh papaya salad for the finale. Asian Food Store will be bringing all the mooncakes to the event to help with the celebration.
Our roster of artisans includes queer Cambodian illustrator and jewelry maker Moss Darling, Korean-American artist AKrause Studio, and clothing curator/maker Brooke Burch Vintage Rack. Non-artist vendors include Hmong Specialty Plants, who bring hundreds of unique fresh vegetables, and tropical plants to the market, local organizations, Threshold Arts, The Village, and Rochester Public Library will also be bringing their vendors to join us at the 9/10 Night Market. For a full list of vendors, head over to The Night Market website.
Alexandria says that the decision to hold smaller, bi-weekly markets throughout the summer has paid off. Vendors gained experience, seller wisdom, and friendships.
“Vendors have become family. The most beautiful thing is that we truly are a community,” says Alexandria.“ So often people selling within the same category or businesses see each other as competition; they don’t want to help each other. But after a summer of markets, the vendors have become friends. It’s really fun. It’s cool.”
The evening will also feature performances by Cambodian dance group Krum Selabak Khmer M’Kut Meas (KSKMM), traditional Japanese drum outfit Taiko Arts Midwest, traditional Hmong dance group Minnesota SunShine, music by Jae Havoc, and Kevin Shaw.
Want to learn Asian cooking methods? You will find Hot Wok Academy at the chef demo station offering tips and guidance to anyone who wants to learn more!
We’re excited to be the first to celebrate a significant Asian holiday such as the Moon Festival on this scale, and we hope you’ll join us.
Tiffany of CHOOCHOO-ca-CHEW was born and raised in Taiwan. She grew up visiting markets & night markets and is passionate about all things local. She enjoys introducing people to Asian culture, cuisines, and local businesses. The Night Market has been a dream & much discussed concept between Tiffany Alexandria and Naura Anderson, we turned this vision into reality in summer 2021 and 2022.
The Night Market logo is designed by the ridiculously talented local designer/ artist/ muralist- Maggie Panetta!
The Chinese character in the logo is “夜” (YÈ), it means night and sounds like YAY!
If you’re looking for design work done, or a mural on your wall, check out Maggie’s portfolio HERE.