Treat your taste buds to Asian street eats

Octopus skewers, Korean corn dogs, takoyaki, grilled oysters, torched sushi, momos and bagged Thai drinks are just some of the classic street market items that will be on the menu at the inaugural Lucky Lion Night Market in Markham.

Vendors also plan to reveal secret menu items at the event, which is a passion project founded by Chef Linh Vu and Julia Park, owners of Milkman Creamery and, inventors of the cotton candy ice cream burrito.

Their mission is to create opportunities for local businesses and to bring cultural experiences to Markham. The event is run under the non-profit Sprout Organization. Young people are encouraged to take part in leadership opportunities alongside Vu’s mentorship. Vu and Park founded the Hamilton Harbourfront Night Market, which drew more than 100,000 attendees in its first year and is returning this year.

More than 40 vendors are slated to take part in the Lucky Lion Night Market, including local favourites like The Hungry Moon, Golden Bubbles, Los Vietnamita and Wei’s Stinky Tofu. The event will also feature new, up-and-coming chefs who will showcase innovative menus for the first time with modern takes on traditional dishes. The event will also feature LED lion dances by Wushu Project, home to Canada’s National Lion & Dragon Dance Team.

Food stands and trucks will be set up in the parking lots outside Markville Mall at the corner of Austin and Bullock Drives. Admission and parking are free. The market will run Thursday, June 16, Friday, June 17 and Saturday, June 18 from 2 to 11:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 19 from 2 to 8 p.m.

In August, Power Unit Youth Organization is putting together an outdoor festival featuring Asian street foods and nightly performances by local talent. Night It Up! will be held in Downtown Markham by The Remington Group from Friday, Aug. 5 through Sunday, Aug. 7. Details are still to be determined.

The Power Unit Youth Organization’s mission is to encourage youth development and a commitment to the community. Each year, members vote on a charitable initiative to support throughout the year. In 2019, it partnered with Rainbow Railroad, a global not-for-profit organization that helps LGTBQI+ people facing persecution based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics. The Power Unit Youth Organization reports contributing more than $143,000 to date to various initiatives throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

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