In the young Asian American community, the 626 Night Market in Arcadia is an anticipated event due to the variety of activities there, including lines of Asian street food and performances by aspiring artists. This month’s market takes place between Friday, August 15 and Sunday, August 17 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia.
With over 100 different vendors present, the night market offers a variety of street foods from different Asian cultures, such as Chinese stinky tofu, Korean barbecue, and Japanese fried octopus balls called takoyaki.
Hannah Cho, a senior at Sonora High School, attended the 626 Night Market in July. In an interview with JSR, Cho said, “Personally, I really liked the meat skewers. They were really all I was looking for.”
According to Cho, the wait for food is long but the event is still worth it.
She continued, “There were such long lines that I couldn’t really try everything I wanted like the potato chip skewers. But honestly, it was more of a social experience for me, so I didn’t mind dealing with long lines—I went with a couple girlfriends.”
The 626 Night Market not only serves as an outlet for vendors to assemble and sell their merchandise but also as an opportunity for amateur and professional musicians, dancers, and visual artists to promote themselves.
Cho said, “When I went in July, there was this female performer named Priska Musik, and she was really good. She sang a couple of her originals and also did a cover of ‘Stay With Me’ by Sam Smith. I thought she was one of the better performers of the two nights.”
Jenny Kim, a freshman at Diamond Bar High School, attended the event last year in August.
“There were a lot of singers,” said Kim. “I think there was a fashion show there too. My favorite things to eat were the bubble waffles.”
This month’s entertainment lineup includes Jun Sun Ahn, Beat Rhino, Joseph Vincent, Rare Candy, and more. The festival is garnering recognition even among those who have not attended a previous 626 Night Market.
Lauren Im, a junior at Sonora High School, has not yet attended the event but plans to do so.
“I’m looking forward to the good food and good music,” she told JSR. “[The 626 Night Market is] just a fun place to hang with my friends and share memories, but I’m especially looking forward to the food. I’ve heard a lot about the food, especially the takoyaki.”
On Friday and Saturday, the event will be open from 4 pm to 1 am and will close early, at 10 pm, on Sunday. For those who cannot attend the August event, another 626 Night Market event will take place in September.