‘Night Market’ flourishes at new location

Discover how ‘moving up 82nd Avenue’ helped this project of the Jade District and APANO thrive. Catch the last one on August 22 …

Visitors to the 2015 International Night Market relax and enjoy live entertainment outside the beer garden set up in front of the Jade/APANO Multicultural Space.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The success of last year’s “Jade District Night Market” surprised organizers as throngs of visitors made their way the Fubonn shopping center. The limited space for the market and the minimal on-site parking didn’t diminish the event.

To better serve the crowds coming for it this year, the organizers, the Jade District Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative and Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), moved the night market along SE 82nd Avenue to straddle SE Division Street, distributed between Portland Community College (PCC) Southeast Campus and the new Jade/APANO Multicultural Space (JAMS).

“Welcome to our second annual ‘International Night Market’,” smiled APANO Executive Director Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons, on August 15.

APANO Executive Director Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons poses for a photo with members of the Formosa Association of Student Cultural Ambassadors.

“This is one of the city’s few multi-racially planned and led events,” Santos-Lyons told East Portland News. “Our estimates indicate that there are about 10,000 people here, from dozens of different cultures and backgrounds, in what is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in all of Oregon.”

Driving through the lot, see saw that every parking space on the college campus was filled, as were side streets around the venue.

Demonstrating “Dance Orientale” is professional belly dancer Janessa.

Bringing back the night market was important, Santos-Lyons said, “Because it’s a way for the community to create a space for merchants to promote their businesses, and for residents to promote their cultures – and create a sense of their own community on their own terms.

“Secondly, it’s a positive economic driver for the city and the state to have these kind of opportunities,” Santos-Lyons added. “And it’s great for groups in our communities, especially our youth, to get the opportunity to provide leadership, and volunteer to help make this place feel like their actual home.”

The area around SE 82nd Avenue of Roses and Division Street has been a place that’s felt somewhat transient in the recent past, Santos-Lyons said. “Over the years our families have been trying to figure out the true meaning of the word ‘home’, and how to build a home here, in this area.”

On the PCC Southeast Campus, the International Night Market is filled with vendors, and visitors.

Most of the 90 food booths, vendors, and non-profit exhibitors, were set up in the PCC Southeast Campus mall, as well on as the main stage. Across the street at JAMS were additional food vendors and a beer garden, also featuring live entertainment.

Although several food vendors remarked that they thought they were prepared for the potential demand at the market, many of them ran out of food an hour before the night market concluded.

Helping people safely cross SE Division Street to and from the Night Market is Sharon White, with the Portland Department of Transportation.

Although the new venue was again crowded, the throngs attending this outer East Portland event were in a mellow and upbeat mood as they circulated through the market, and enjoyed the entertainment.

“This is a huge partnership event, put on by about 150 volunteers and a couple staff members,” Santos-Lyons said. “And, we give a ‘big shout out’ to honor Rosaline Hui, editor of the Portland Chinese Times, and Nannette Tran – both of them also work with the Portland Arts Collective – for organizing this.”

Bringing their “Chinatown Dance Rock” to the International Night Market is internationally known band, The Slants.

The second – and final – International Night Market of the season is Saturday night, August 22, at the same location.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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