GRAPHIC BY YING YANG
By CAROL LI
When people first think of food festivals, they often think of lots of affordable food, fun with friends, and a great summer night. However, the reality of 626 Night Market is quite the opposite.
626 Night Market is a night market held every year at the Santa Anita Park in the summer months. The market draws over two hundred participating food, merchandise and craft vendors, as well as live entertainment. Every year, over sixty thousand people attend the event.
Yet, many will be disappointed after attending 626 Night market due to its huge crowds, high temperatures and expensive prices.
Although the park may be spacious, the large crowds can be compared to malls on Black Friday. This results in outrageously long lines, in which people have to wait twenty to thirty minutes to order their food, and even longer to actually receive it.
Furthermore, because of the surplus of people, 626 Night Market is a traffic nightmare. Many have to circle around multiple times trying to find an empty spot, and once they do, it will likely be a mile away from the vendors.
Additionally, since the market is held during the summer, the temperatures are in the high nineties and triple digits, and the complex offers little to no shade structures. Moreover, the humid weather is so extreme that the whole experience becomes unpleasant. Imagine being stuck in a huge crowd with not enough space to move in scorching hot weather. Your body is sweaty from the heat, and on top of that, the large crowds and hot grills make it even hotter. Obviously, this event does not deserve the hype, and yet, every year there is a huge turnout.
Many people are attracted to attending this event because of the variety of unique food available. However, because of this, there is a noticeable unappetizing smell to the market. Although this may seem like a tiny detail, after spending some time in the market, the smell can become nauseating. The stench may also stay on your clothes, which can be irritating. Additionally, due to the abundance of food vendors the air is filled with smoke, making it hard to breathe.
While there is free parking and admission is reasonable, the food is horribly expensive.
For example, vendors demand seven dollars for a bottle of regular lemonade, even though one could buy it at a local grocery store for half the price. It’s understandable that vendors must increase their prices to pay for their spot in the market, however, one should not have to pay so much for food that can be bought at a local grocery store.
Ultimately, 626 Night Market is an overrated event because of the huge crowds, high temperatures, and expensive prices. People come to the market for good time, but in reality, they’re only going to get ripped off by impulse buys.