Jade Night Market returns

If you didn’t get to the ‘International Night Market’ hosted by the Jade District, they’re holding another one this weekend. Take a look at what you’ll find there…

Again this year, the Jade Night Market attracts thousands of visitors to outer East Portland for their two-weekend festival.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The Jade District International Night Market opened for business again this year on August 20, still at the Portland Community College Southeast Campus, along SE 82nd Avenue of Roses – and straddling SE Division Street, at the Jade/APANO Multicultural Center.

And, here’s the good news: If you missed it, it will be open again, starting at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday evening, August 27.

Sierra Ha and Eric Ha stay busy cooking Chinese Hong Kong style Street waffles.

This is the new place where Portland’s multicultural communities come out annually to celebrate until 10:00 p.m., and features international cuisine from local businesses, cultural performances, and information booths from nonprofit organizations.

“It’s a celebration, and recognition of the community that resides in the Jade District neighborhood and in outer East Portland,” remarked co-organizer Nanette Tran of the Portland Art and Cultural Center.

“We’re proud that this is the third year that we’ve held the Jade Night Market,” Tran told East Portland News.

One of the attractions of the Jade Night Market is browsing the many booths.

It quickly became evident that the event outgrew its first location, the Fubonn Shopping Center, which led to moving it to the college campus and Jade/APANO Multicultural Center.

It takes is a whole year to organize, Tran said. “We start getting ready for the next year’s market, as soon as we finish this one. It takes a whole bunch of people to do this, who volunteer with the Jade Night Market Steering Committee.”

Lucy Li of Jasmine Gift Shop shows customers one of her beautiful fans.

This year, there were about 90 vendors, including all the food purveyors. “We have lots of entertainment, on two stages,” Tran pointed out. “In addition to our main stage, we also have a beer garden over at the Multicultural Center.”

Co-organizers Nanette Tran and Rosalind Hui say they’re happy with the turnout, and thankful for the nearly 100 volunteers who help put on the event.

Speaking to why so many people work with such diligence on this, co-organizer Rosalind Hui from the Portland Chinese Times, explained that it is to help fulfill the goals of the Jade District.

“Our district is a City of Portland Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (NPI) area, and holding this festival really helps the local businesses,” Hui explained.

On the main stage, the New Birth Crew entertains with break-dancing skills.

“In addition to those in this area, the Jade Night Market brings lot of people into our district who’ve never been to this area,” Hui added. “We believe that many of these new visitors will come back and shop, eat, get healthcare, and help this community grow.”

In addition to bringing thousands of visitors to their NPI district, the event is fun for both their core community and guests from all over the city, she said.

Entertainers perform on the stage at the beer garden, in front of the Multicultural Center.

“The best part of the Jade Night Market for me is when the sun goes down after a hot day, and it now feels so cool and nice,” Hui teased.

“But really, it’s seeing so many people who come here say they really enjoy the atmosphere and have fun; like going to a huge ‘family party’. It is, in fact, a big family party for our whole community. It’s so much fun to see the smiles on people’s faces.”

You could be one of those smiling, if you visit, starting at 5:00 p.m. on August 27.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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