As the sun is setting earlier in the day, it is time for one of Kingston’s most beloved events to take over the grounds of the Memorial Centre.
Each year, Loving Spoonful and the Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market present their Night Market, and evening full of fun, entertainment, socializing, and, most importantly, food – and not just any food, but food that is local sourced from area farmers and producers.
This year, the Night Market boasts over 40 vendors who will set up shop around the Memorial Centre. The vendors include a number of those who regularly sell at the Memorial Centre Farmers Market, and some local farmers who prepare hot foods made with their own ingredients (as well as other locally-sourced ingredients). It’s all in keeping with the mandates of the two organizations that present the Night Market: Loving Spoonful is a local charitable organization aimed developing a food-secure community by facilitating access to fresh foods; and the Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market (which is run by the Farmers’ Market Association of Kingston, or FMAK), is the only 100 per cent producer-based farmers market in the area (which means the people vending actually produce their goods, and do not resell goods grown or produced in other places).
Night markets are wildly popular all around the world, especially throughout Asia, and, when FMAK and Loving Spoonful came together to come up with a new, exciting event aimed at highlighting local food and local farmers, the Night Market at the Kingston Memorial Centre was born.
From the position of those with the FMAK and/or the Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market, the Night Market not only allows for another way for their farms to present themselves, it also allows those who are unable to get to the Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market on Sundays a chance to see what their vendors have in store.
“We have a lot of people coming to us who say ‘Oh, I can never make it on Sundays,’ so it is a mid-week thing and that is a bit of a highlight for people in the city who can’t normally come,” said Tim Lyon, member of the FMAK board, and co-operator of Main Street Market.
“From the other side, Loving Spoonful had run the Food Fiesta, enjoyed that event, and they were looking for an event that would truly celebrate farmers and their food, not just food and partying only.”
Cue the Night Market, a place where fresh, local, delicious food is available to enjoy and to take home, where local music wafts through the air, and where neighbours and friends reconnect and chat while they wait in line for their next yummy item.
Add to that a beer tent and wine garden stocked with local beer (Riverhead Brewing, Spearhead Brewing, MacKinnon Brothers Brewing), cider (Hard Way Cider Co.), and wine (Three Dog Winery), and a pile of activities and events for the whole family (including a performance by Kingston Circus Acts) and you’ve got the recipe for an event that is not to be missed – and one that highlights everything local.
“Loving Spoonful wanted to have an event that would really do a wonder at highlighting local food, so they were excited to partner with the FMAK to run it, and when they came to us that’s what we had in mind: something that would fulfill the dreams and desires of both sides,” Lyon said.
“It’s also a chance for neighbours to meet and for people to catch up with friends they haven’t seen in a while… There’s only one Loving Spoonful Night Market a year!”
The Night Market will take place on Thursday, Aug. 23 from 6 to 10 p.m. on the grounds of the Memorial Centre. Find out more details on the Loving Spoonful’s Facebook page.