The Arcadia City Council approved the proposed 626 Night Market to be held on the infield of Santa Anita Park horse race track as late as 1 a.m. Saturday night on two weekends this fall as a trial to determine whether the event is too noisy or if it creates other problems that could be improved or eliminated.
The event that has been held twice this year in Pasadena has drawn 40,000 attendees to a single evening and is expected to draw about 60,000 people over the first two-day schedule for the market on Oct. 20-21 and again Dec. 15-16. It will be staged similar to the Cal Phil Festival on the Green, with attendees encouraged to enter Gate 6 and park in the north parking lot and walk through the tunnel to the infield. But due to the overlap with horse racing on Oct. 20-21, there will be attendees coming in from any and all parking lots and entering through other entrances from the grandstand side of the infield.
The creator of the events, Johnny Hwang, said that even though the City is approving up to 170 vendors for the event, he expects about 120-140, about 75 of which would be food vendors, and possibly five or six food trucks. The evening markets that stretch into late night and offer food and discount merchandise, are quite popular in mainland China and Taiwan, appealing in particular to young adults in the later hours. There will be some music but it will be kept to a minimum in a small area of the market, Hwang said.
Hours for the 626 Night Market will be 3 p.m. – 1 a.m. on Saturdays, and 3 p.m. – 11 p.m. on Sundays.
Mayor Harbicht said there was no reason not to let the market have two weekends to see if it was a successful format for Hwang, Santa Anita, and the community. Of all parties feel they want to continue next year, any adjustments could be made after finding out where any problems may exist.
“The 626 Night Market team is working closely with the City of Arcadia and Santa Anita Park to make the two-night cultural experience smooth and enjoyable for our patrons,” said Jonny Hwang, 626 Night Market organizer. “The 626 Night Market is currently accepting vendor applications and is proud to be a community platform for many first-time local entrepreneurs who are pursuing their dream of running a business.” For more information regarding the 626 Night Market at Santa Anita on Oct. 21 and 22, visit www.626nightmarket.com.
— By Scott Hettrick
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