HomeCommunityThe return of night markets to breathe life into San Francisco

The return of night markets to breathe life into San Francisco

Multiple night markets will be returning to San Francisco this year following the momentum of popular events last year that drew massive crowds.

The Chinatown night market opens today, March 8, and is scheduled to be held every second Friday of the month until November, according to the San Francisco Standard. BeChinatown, a coalition of business and community leaders promoting the city’s Chinatown, will organize the night market’s return with a $100,000 grant from the CivilJoy Fund. The event will be held on Grant Avenue under festive lanterns and offer traditional Chinese food along with activities.

The Sunset Night Market in the Sunset District is also expected to return in June or July, according to Supervisor Joel Engardio who represents the district. Engardio told the San Francisco Standard that the city is in the process of selecting vendors and proposals to host the night market. The hope is to have three separate events throughout the second half of the year.

“We want to focus on food,” Engardio said, reported the San Francisco Standard. “We want the attendees to have the experience just like when you go to the night market in Taipei.”

The Bhangra & Beats Night Market that features Non-Stop Bhangra, a traditional Punjabi folk music and dance party, will also make its return on May 10th. The event is hosted by Into The Streets, which was founded in 2023 by event and community organizers to help revitalize the culture, community, and creativity in San Francisco. It is sponsored by the non-profit Livable City in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development and the City and County of San Francisco. 

The event will include food, shopping, and music. Participants can expect the Night Bazaar, a vibrant marketplace offering a curated shopping experience from trendy fashion boutiques to handcrafted artisanal goods. With swirling colors, pounding feet, and bouncing shoulders, Non Stop Bhangra will transform the streets of San Francisco into a vibrant Bollywood movie scene.

In preparation for the night market in Chinatown tonight, Gilbert Lam, a third-generation artisanal artist with a store on Grant Avenue, told KTVU Fox 2 that he plans on keeping the store open later, hoping that the event will increase foot traffic.

“It’s quite slow. Not many customers come into Chinatown,” Lam told KTVU.

Manny Yekutiel, the founder of Civic Joy Fund and the owner of Manny’s Cafe in the Mission District shares similar hopes for revitalizing San Francisco.

“I love this place. We all love this place. You can feel it in the air. That collective love for San Francisco and the deepness of the community here is what makes it so great,” said Yekutiel, according to KTVU.

Yukutiel also shared with KTVU that he hopes to raise $1 million to fund night markets in different parts of the city.

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