Since it opened in 2015, the Queens Night Market has been an ally to the diverse people and businesses of the “World’s Borough.” The food festival is returning to Flushing Meadows Corona Park on Saturday, September 18.
More than 30 vendors are also participating in Saturday’s fundraiser by donating a fixed amount or percentage of their profits to flood victims. Additionally, visitors will be asked to make a voluntary suggested donation of $5 at the entrance gate.
“While it sucks to fall through the cracks in general, to slip through when your livelihood is on the line because of a natural disaster is a travesty,” said John Wang, founder of the Queens Night Market. “To us, this isn’t a political football. It’s a humanitarian question, and we want to help our friends and neighbors in Queens insofar as we can. “
Over the past half-decade, Queens Night Market has gained a reputation for its cheap and inviting atmosphere. Admission to the festival is free and all vendors are asked to respect a $5 price cap on food (with some $6 exceptions).
The Night Market is open from 6 to 9 p.m. every Saturday night until the fall season concludes with a special Halloween-themed evening on October 30.
Even through the pandemic, the Night Market has remained steadfast in its dedication to affordability and inclusivity. Barring three ticketed events designed to manage attendance at the beginning of the 2021 season, the festival is practically unchanged after taking the 2020 season off due to COVID.
“The number of visitors we’re getting isn’t all that much higher than in 2019, but what
is different is how long people are staying and how much they’re supporting vendors during their stay,” Wang explained. “Outdoor settings have really become oases from this seemingly never-ending pandemic.”
Many past vendors are returning to the Night Market this fall, but Wang is also excited about a number of new offerings. These include Brazilian, Indian, Taiwanese, Cuban, Mexican, Venezuela, and Malaysian vendors serving an array of different cuisines.
Queens Night Market will also host the Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s gala fundraiser on Thursday, September 23. All proceeds from this special ticketed event will go towards public programming and maintenance of the park.
“The Queens Night Market has called Flushing Meadows Corona Park home since we launched back in 2015,” said Wang, who is also an alliance board member. “It’s been a pleasure and an honor to help plan and curate the annual fundraiser under the glow of the Unisphere since the tradition started in 2017.”