626 Night Market celebrates final weekend

Benjamin Huang and Ada Wong of Chino Hills play a carnival game that involves throwing a wiffle ball onto rings to win a stuffed animal at the 626 Night Market Saturday in Arcadia. Food booths and games drew crowds to Santa Anita Park Sept. 2-4 to attend the fifth year of the 626 Night Market. Huang and Wong were there for the first time. / photo by Megan Peralez
Benjamin Huang and Ada Wong of Chino Hills play a carnival game that involves throwing a wiffle ball onto rings to win a stuffed animal at the 626 Night Market Saturday in Arcadia. Food booths and games drew crowds to Santa Anita Park Sept. 2-4 to attend the fifth year of the 626 Night Market. Huang and Wong were there for the first time. / photo by Megan Peralez

For only four weekends out of the year, one of the largest festivals in the greater Los Angeles area makes the Santa Anita Race Track its home, bringing together Asian-inspired food, art, music and games for a unique experience. The 626 Night Market celebrated its five-year anniversary over Labor Day weekend, keeping its gates open until 1 a.m.

The venue was packed. The smell of barbecue was everywhere and the beats from DJ Ladidadi’s stage filled the night market. Although the festival hosted a variety of Asian-themed cultures, it also welcomed several food trucks serving corn, street tacos and mac n’ cheese burgers. Lemonade and tea stands served their guests drinks in light bulb cups and mason jars with flashing ice cubes.

A restaurant called Simpang Asia sold colorful drinks with skewers of meat and cheeseburgers sticking from the top in one bright and loaded meal-to-go.

Every booth seemed to have something wild and creative to offer the buzzing crowds.

—Kendra Craighead

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