Section: News

Second annual Night Market brings cheer, large crowds

Second annual Night Market brings cheer, large crowds

Students had the chance to sample a variety of food and beverage options. | BRITTANY LIN

On Friday, Kenyon Asian Identities (KAI) held its second annual ‘Night Market’ from 7  to 9 p.m. in the Gund Commons Ballroom. Night Market hosted several affinity groups and local artists for a chance to fundraise and sell wares. Each attendee received four tickets upon entry, and several tables offered free food and drinks in exchange for tickets. The event had a massive turnout, with hundreds of students coming and going through the night.

Like last year, KAI planned for the Night Market to be held outside, but due to the chance of rain, the event was moved indoors with just two days’ notice. Most students congregated in groups inside rather than in the courtyard seating because of the poor weather. 

The first thing students saw when arriving at the Night Market was the two long lines for the tanghulu and pork belly immediately outside. The lines outside each had a wait time of about 25 minutes for the majority of the night. “We were in the pork belly line for maybe 25 minutes, in total we were probably standing in lines for 40 minutes…but the pork belly was yummy,” Caeley Shea ’27, an attendee who braved the pork belly line, said in an interview with the Collegian.  

The inside was decorated with string lights and paper lanterns, creating the environment of a street market. KAI pinpointed their vibe in an Oct. 28 email: “KAI’s Night Market is based on traditional Asian open-air bazaars that contain entertainment, street food and shopping. Originating in China during the Tang Dynasty and spreading throughout the continent from there, night markets gained in worldwide popularity after World War II. They are known for their chaotic, busting crowds, bright colors and array of delectable smells.”  

Immediately to the left of the entrance was a popular henna stand. Directly next to the henna was a stand offering dumplings. The dumpling stand was exceedingly well received and underprepared for the demand. More often than not, it was out of stock, and every few minutes a student would run to the Snowden Multicultural Center and come back with trays of dumplings to replenish their stock.  

Much like the dumplings, all the food and beverages provided by KAI proved to be popular among attendees. Mango lassi, a yogurt-based mango drink, consistently had a long line. “The mango [lassi] was bussin’! Pretty thick,” Arthur Wellenstein ’27 said in an interview with the Collegian.

One vendor served cong you bing, a Chinese scallion pancake that uses water-flour dough rather than batter. Like other food items, it proved to be popular with attendees. The line maintained a five-to-10 minute wait for most of the event.  

The vendors that took cash rather than tickets were much less successful. Abby Maroney ’27 attended and said in an interview with the Collegian, “I didn’t really go with the intention of buying art, and we did not buy art, but it was fun to look at. It added to the atmosphere.”  The Black Student Union had a stand that accepted donated clothing and ran a small thrift store in its stall. International Society at Kenyon, in collaboration with Sisterhood, sold jewelry.  Across from them was the Horn Gallery who sold its merchandise throughout the event. 

Several students said they would have preferred for the event to be hosted entirely outside if the weather cooperated. “I think I would actually have liked it more if it was fully outside,” David Sutter ’27 said. “The biggest factor is really just to hold the event on a warmer day or more temperate time of the year.” 

Ian Podniesinski ’27 shared his final opinions on the event: “Free food. Fast lines. Store-bought Asian food. Better than Peirce [Dining Hall].”

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