THE NIGHT MARKET
The Night Market is a pop-up open air-market located on the 700 block of Bryan Avenue. The Night Market is held annually on the first Friday of every month from April to December. It is free and open to the public, and runs from 6 pm to 10 pm. While primarily serving as a platform for neighborhood businesses, artists, and nonprofits to grow their business, the Night Market also highlights the creativity in our community and brings people from all over the region to Lexington’s Northside.
To make the Night Market possible, the 700 block of Bryan Ave is temporarily closed to traffic on the day of the market. The street is lined on both sides by vendor booths, and the street is transformed through lighting, street trees, planters, and temporary art installations. On both ends of the market, there are food vendors from Northside restaurants, food trucks, and folks aspiring to start new culinary businesses. In the parking lot just off of Bryan Ave, there is a beer draft trailer and biergarten courtesy of Northside brewery West Sixth Brewing, and live music from local and regional bands. 50% of proceeds from beer sales at the Night Market go back to supporting the market itself, as well as other community projects in the Northside.
The 2015 Night Market season is presented by West Sixth Brewing and Kentucky for Kentucky.
The Night Market is designed to showcase and provide a platform for local artists, makers, non-profits and businesses. By charging very low vendor fees ($25, reimbursable if the vendor makes less than $25 in revenue), we create a low bar for entry for many that cannot afford to open a bricks-and-mortar business, or even vend at other, more established marketplaces. We also do not curate what type of vendor booths are allowed. Aside from giving preference to vendors that are from our neighborhood, we try to make it a very democratic market - we don't decide what types of goods do and do not qualify to be shown (aside from illicit products, obviously). At the Night Market, you'll find folks vending everything from conceptual art to VHS tapes. For businesses and individuals, the Night Market is a great way to generate awareness, public interest, and revenue.
ENHANCE PUBLIC SPACE
The NoLi CDC believes strongly in the power of public space to bring communities together. Streets are the ultimate public space - they are everywhere people are, and we pay for them with tax dollars. Yet, when you are on a street, you mostly see cars, not people. We want to give people a glimpse of what a street can become if its use is given back to the people. By closing this block of Bryan Avenue to cars, we make a pedestrian-safe environment where people of all ages feel comfortable. During the Night Market, you'll see kids playing ping pong, families walking their dogs, and folks safely biking through the crowd. Come back the next day, and all you'll see is cars.
FACILITATE CULTURAL AND SOCIAL PROGRAMMING
We have some amazing cultural institutions and social services in our neighborhood. From Lexington Art League to Institute 193, the Nest Center to Habitat for Humanity, we try to use the Night Market as a way for groups in our neighborhood to reach new audiences. We don't charge non-profit vendors a fee to participate in the Night Market, and we partner with many to help curate the Night Market. In the past, we've helped launch installations by the Lexington Art League at the Night Market, partnered with the LFUCG Division of Water Quality to raise awareness about water quality issues in the Cane Run Watershed, and are planning numerous partnerships for 2015.