After a two year hiatus, the longest-running night market in the GTA returns for its 20th year. Night it Up is a three-day food and cultural festival that runs in the afternoons and evenings from August 5-7, 2022.
In a year full of traditions returning, Markham residents have a lot to enjoy. Any who enjoy a variety of authentic Asian street foods accompanied by iconic performances, should be sure to make it to Night it Up. The event is designed to simulate many of the busy night markets found across Asia and has thrilled attendees for two decades.
“Night It Up! first started as a group of friends who wanted to do something more for their
Community,” explains event chairperson Nancy Feng. “After some thinking, they had the idea to achieve this by hosting Markham’s first-ever Asian night market. The first Night It Up! started in Metro Square with a couple of food booths.”
Today, Night It Up! draws over 130,000 patrons and over 100 vendors every year and is run by a team of over 200 volunteers organized by Power Unit Youth Organization. Power Unit is a non-profit mandated to encourage youth development and empowerment while maintaining its commitment to the community.
The event’s inspiration comes from night markets in Taiwan, Hong Kong and others across Asia. These outdoor night markets feature a seemingly endless line of vendors selling a mix of traditional and fun foods. These street markets typically operate till late at night and are
dedicated to leisurely strolling, eating, and shopping.
“We achieve this by bringing in a diverse array of vendors,” says Feng. “ This includes the classics you see at any night market: stinky tofu, beef and lamb skewers, and thai iced tea in a bag! In addition to that, every year we welcome new and innovative food vendors.”
Night it Up also features a brand new venue this year. In partnership with The Remington Group Inc., Night it Up finds its new home in Downtown Markham located at 179 Enterprise Blvd. Organizers also promise collaborations with several small businesses and community partners to add ‘uniqueness’ to what a traditional outdoor Asian night market is.
“The purpose of the event is to celebrate Asian culture in the community,” Feng continues. “(but) our main mission as an organization is to allow youth to take leadership roles in planning and running a large-scale event while giving back to the community.”
As part of Night it Up each year, Power Unit partners with a beneficiary. This year is no different with ALS Double Play, a charitable organization that strives to raise awareness and connect people who live with ALS, receiving all proceeds from the festival.
Markham has a rich heritage and Night It Up strives to bring this to life by unifying the diverse community into one large cultural mosaic, over the three-day night market.
“Night It Up is essential to Markham’s culture because it represents members of the community,” says Feng. “To achieve this, we provide a space where
friends and family can gather, make memories, and share experiences.”
Night it Up runs in the afternoons and evenings from August 5 to August 7 in Downtown Markham.
More details can be found at the event’s website.