Orange County stays up for night market

  • Orange County Fair and Event Center was host to the annual OC Night Market. (Matthew Kirkland/ Lariat)

Thousands of people filled the Orange County Fair and Event Center for the third-annual OC Night Market. A variety of businesses including clothing companies, artists and food vendors will have booths from May 13 to May 15.

The three-day event is produced by 626 Night Markets, the original and largest Asian-themed night market in the United States, and is in its third year of existence.

“OC Night Market aims to unite and empower the community by serving as a platform for showcasing local entrepreneurs, businesses, artists, and talent,” according to their website.

Attendees started pouring in at 4 p.m. and continued well into the night to experience the cultural celebration that was the night market. People of all ages, including children, participated in the fair games, bought interesting pieces of art and ate food from booths and food trucks.

“This is so cool,” said Aiden Le who attended the night market. “These are all of my favorites foods so I love it. Usually you can’t eat all of these different things in one place.”

Along with various types of food from Korean barbecue to Pho noodles to waffle corndogs there were many artists and businesses providing unique products. Events like the night market are a great way for local companies to reach their community.

“It is really sick to have [customers] feel the physical product, see that it is really well made, it’s not a rip off or an internet scam,” said Original Grain founder Andrew Beltran. “We are a nice jewelry company and it has been a great response.”

Original Grain is a watch and accessory company based in San Diego, California that was started by two brothers, Andrew and Ryan Beltran, in Oregon. The company does most of its business online but saw the night market as an opportunity to connect with their customers.

“It is such a good vibe at night, you know the lights turn down and it is very intimate,” Beltran said. “It is on the vendors to provide lighting and music so it brings everybody really close and draws it in. Foot traffic has been great and it is a good community and they are very interested in our product.”

The responsibility of vendors to provide music and lighting is what really made the OC Night Market unique from other events like it. Customers and businesses could really get a sense of teach other by environment that the vendor chose to set.

Different songs filled the air from the live DJ, each booth’s choice of music and the performances on stage. The event also served as a platform for entertainers to showcase their talents on stage and in front of an audience.

626 Night Market produces the annual OC Night Market and also hosts multiple other events like it.

More information on the OC Night Market can be found on ocnightmarket.com and more information about future night markets held by 626 can be found on 626nightmarket.com.

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