Asian-themed night market returns to Pasadena, with street closures
Looking for a taste of the San Gabriel Valley? More than 170 food and retail vendors are scheduled to set up shop Saturday outside Pasadena City Hall for an event reminiscent of the popular night markets in Asia.
"If you look at any Asian city, there are night markets every night -- tons of people who go every weekend," said Jonny Hwang, who founded the 626 Night Market in April with his wife and a friend. "It's a place where you can go with your friends, walk around and discover new trinkets. But food is definitely the most important aspect."
The City Hall location is four times larger than the space where the first event took place in April, when an estimated 15,000 visitors -- more than double what city officials planned for –- crowded the block of Oakland Avenue between Colorado Boulevard and Union Street.
Organizers listened to hundreds of complaints and comments on social media sites in an effort to improve Saturday's event. They've signed up twice as many vendors, Hwang said, and set aside an alley for popular food trucks.
A key issue last time was traffic flow, which organizers said would be smoother this time. Private parking lots and a bike valet are to be available, and the location is near the Memorial Park Metro Gold Line station.
The following streets in Pasadena will be closed from 3 p.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. Sunday, city officials said:
--Garfield Avenue between Walnut Street and Colorado Boulevard
--Holly Street between Marengo Avenue and Garfield Avenue
--Euclid Avenue between Walnut Street and Colorado Boulevard
--Union Street between Los Robles Avenue and Marengo Avenue
From 6 p.m. Friday until 1 p.m. Sunday, there are to be additional street closures for set-up and cleanup -- including Garfield Avenue between Ramona Street and Union Street, and Holly Street between Marengo Avenue and Garfield Avenue
The night market is set for 4 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Admission is free.
-- Rosanna Xia
Photo: The Kebab Brothers food stand at the first 626 Night Market in April. Credit: Matt Wu