Night Market Organizers Celebrate Successes, Identify Potential Improvements
Things generally went well, though there are a few issues that might need to be worked out.
Night Market, for the most part, went off in a positive fashion, according to the event's primary organizers.
The Germantown Avenue street festival attracted crowds that at times required people to squeeze through the thoroughfare that ran between the food trucks. The Food Trust hasn't yet released official numbers for the event, but Mt. Airy USA's Executive Director Anuj Gupta—whose organization did most of the event planning—said he thought it was bigger than last year's market.
There were a few changes this year that Gupta liked.
"The diversity of the food that we had was much broader than last year," he said. "We highlighted more of Mt. Airy. We worked Lovett library park into the mix (and) made it go down to Carpenter (Lane)."
Last year's market stopped at Sedgwick Street (but also went as far as Mt. Airy Avenue on the north side).
There were a fair amount of people at the market from outside the neighborhood, and Gupta said he hopes Mt. Airy's businesses represented well.
"Hopefully they continue to come back for the Mt. Airy restaurants," he said.
Next year, he said, he hopes the market can be a bit earlier in the year so that it doesn't lose August vacationers (like it has the past couple of summers).
Mt. Airy USA sold tickets for $35 to a private seating area (where attendees could spend time at tables in the library park; they also received unlimited alcohol from various vendors by purchasing that.
It had hoped to sell about 100 of those tickets but ended up selling 80. Still, Gupta said he was OK with that number, although he said people didn't end up utilizing the park space as much as Mt. Airy USA had necessarily anticipated (likely because people preferred to walk along the avenue to check out the various food options). The passes sold ended up defraying the event's bill, which came to around $30,000.
Vendors also paid fees this year (they didn't last year) and sponsors chipped in as well.
"We looked in every nook and cranny to find (ways) to pay for it," Gupta said.
There was some concern among vendors that the far northern end of Germantown Avenue received short shrift, since most of the traffic centered around the WXPN stage at Sedgwick Street.
If that was an issue, Gupta said, that's something Mt. Airy USA will look to fix for the future, especially since many of the Mt. Airy businesses that had tables were in that area.
"This has to work for our vendors," he said.