Away from the 661, into the 626

Away+from+the+661%2C+into+the+626

Min Ju Kang, Features Editor

Drinks in a glass light-bulb container. Rolled-up ice cream. Grilled seafood on a stick. These are all things you’ve most likely seen on your friends’ Snapchat stories this past summer, and you’re probably wondering: where are all these treats coming from?

    The 626 Night Market, a platform for individual businesses to showcase their arts, was a Wildcat hot spot this summer. Filled with hundreds of food stands and street vendors, the 626 Night Market in Arcadia’s Santa Anita Park opened every weekend throughout the summer from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. For an affordable admission fee of $3, you can experience the wonders of this food and art haven.

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The 626 Night Market draws huge crowds because of its extreme variety of foods to try and taste. Most foods sold are Asian-inspired, ranging from Ramen burgers to takoyaki. Also, the desserts and drinks are a great photo opportunity because of their extremely unique and eye-catching presentations. Popular desserts include “heaven breath,” or rice crackers fused with liquid nitrogen in a cup. So, when one breathes out, heavenly “smoke” gusts out. Some vendors sell drinks, like watermelon slush and strawberry lemonade, in gigantic glass jars (sometimes in the shape of a baby bottle or light-bulb) with a LED-light keychain attached to let your drink glow throughout the night.

The crazy food brings out so many different cultures to test and try with your friends, so in a way it’s like bonding with your friends over food.”

— Nicole Hong

“I enjoyed the crazy food the 626 Night Market had,” said junior Nicole Hong. “The crazy food brings out so many different cultures to test and try with your friends, so in a way it’s like bonding with your friends over food.”

     Once one is done pigging out on every food sold, he or she can head on over to the lanes of non-edible products. Some walkways of the 626 Night Market are dedicated to displaying and selling handmade artwork, including sketches and paintings. Other streets sold keychains, socks, makeup, T-shirts, hats, and other accessories. In addition to the whole festival theme held throughout the venue, there are booths hosting carnival games between the food lanes.

“I actually liked that individual businesses were showing off their products,” said Hong. “I thought the company that reused alcohol bottles and made candles out of them were very unique.”

      The 626 Night Market offers an area for people to burn off the calories gained throughout the food-inspired night: the DJ area. Off to the corner of the park, there is a stage with a DJ and a club-like vibe where people dance with their friends.

          For those of you who missed attending the 626 Night Market this summer, be sure to add this to your to-do list for the next summer. The largest night market in the United States will be up and running again in early July.