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The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

Summer begins: 626 Night Market at fairgrounds

Guests+walk+to+buy+food+while+surrounded+with+vendors.
Shimon arai
Guests walk to buy food while surrounded with vendors.

Through May 17-19, the Alameda County Fairgrounds hosted the bi-annual 626 Night Market. The night market invited hungry crowds from all over the Bay Area to enjoy the Asian-styled food and local vendors. 

The night market required a $6 admissions fee, which could be bought online. Upon entering the event, a row of vendors showcased products from earrings, and stuffed animals, to paintings. 

Products at the 626 Night Market

To the right of the gate was a vendor selling custom earrings and necklaces. They also made ID bracelets and family trees. Products range from $5-300, but the average price ranges from $20-30.

“A customer can come up and take the product and the material that they like, and then they tell us what they would like for it to say or desire and we make it on the spot for them,” said a staff at Get Bent and Hammered Kora Jenkin

Just this past weekend, they debuted a new earring and showcased it on the tables. Jenkins has been attending the 626 Night Market since 2016 and realized how important events like these are.

“I think it’s doing these events just taught us how to do more like marketing, grow our business, and to really become a brand versus just a pop-up table at events. So it really taught us how to level up our business,” said Jenkins

In contrast, vendor Jaroldcadionart (@jaroldcadionart) sold coffee paintings of popular artists and movies. Each custom painting takes 10 hours on average, but the results do not lie in his talent. 

“The thing about coffee painting is that there’s no literature on it, there’s not much like YouTube videos on it. So it’s all about experimenting and figuring out what kind of coffee can work best for my artwork,” said Jarold Cadiof

The event was also the perfect chance to grow his business. As guests walked out of the night market after eating, they stopped at vendors like Jaroldcardionart.

“It’s it gives like local artists, local vendors a chance to showcase their work,” said Cadiof

There was also a vendor selling handcrafted gifts that started off their business quite recently. Kyler Handcrafts and Gifts set up their tent in front of the entrance to the food area. They primarily sold hair products and perfume oils starting from $10. 

“I think right now, we’re pretty well established as a brand in here. And we feel that this is a good way to connect with a lot of local people here to let them not only enjoy the food but also get to know our brand. They can enjoy our products as well,” said owner of Kyler Handcrafts and Gifts Amy Liu

Foods and drinks vendors

To the guests, however, buying food was the top priority. Food vendors from all over California appeared at the event and some vendors had lines that stretched back far. HGG Tanghulu was among those vendors and sold Tanghulu, a traditional Chinese snack. 

“Basically, we like to introduce more people to our products. [The 626 Night Market allows us to] share our traditional cultures to [a bigger] audience,” said staff at HGG Tanghulu Jason Liu

Another food vendor from Fullerton, California, sold an American-Filipino dessert, ubenabon cinnamon rolls. 

“They are cream cheese based, we have a variety of flavors, which are available to choose from. A lot of people know what ube is and some people are really attracted to it because it’s the first time they tried ube,” said staff at Ubenanbon Cinnamon Rolls by Jen Steve Villanueva

Due to the dessert’s warmness, the vendor became popular, especially at night. By 7 p.m., they sold out on more than half of their 6-flavored stock. 

“I think the vendors and the people because I have several people that have came back to us like tell us ‘Oh, all we had you guys years ago.’ Our family back home like it, [so] we send them to them. It’s always about the people and vendors who always encouraged us to come back and do better,” said Villanueva

Though not an Asian styled vendor, Mark Adams with the HolyMole food truck came out, too. They sold only one item: the gypsy-style quesabirria tacos, but required a long time to create just one item. 

“We slow roast, chop it up and then spin it and put it in a constinane for a couple of hours to kind of get all the flavoring into it. And then we take our peppers, chiles, jalapenos, and get that all mixed up. The seasonings, that takes a few hours to boil down and make a good salsa,” said Adams

Food vendors also traded among themselves to try out another vendor’s food and drinks. Some vendors even agreed that trading was the best part of the event for them. 

Wrap up of the night

The 626 Night Market brought thousands of people from the Bay Area to enjoy the food and vibe. Many couples, friends, and families enjoyed the experience and it was a great opportunity to go outside. For folks who missed the Night Market, it will come back in July- so don’t worry.

“I really like coming to these events because a lot of our friends are also small business owners who participate in these events. So it feels like summer camp, almost to come hang out with friends, purchase with them, support everyone,” said Jenkins.

 

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