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Richmond Night Market returns this weekend
After a four-year hiatus, the original Richmond Night Market is back with a promise of more vendors, more parking and more fun.
“The time off gave me a little break to envision how to make it better and I think this year we’ve definitely done that,” said organizer Raymond Cheung of Firework Productions Ltd.
Launching Friday at its new waterfront location at 8351 River Road near River Rock Casino Resort, the latest incarnation of Cheung’s Richmond Night Market will feature up to 400 retailers (including an 88-vendor food court that will offer more than 500 different items—with a different specially-featured-and-priced vendor each night) and 1,500 parking stalls. It’s spread out over an expansive 18-acre site at the north end of No.3 Road at River Road, also known as Duck Island.
Adding to the visitor experience, this year’s market will feature the Fly Zone, a parachuting simulator.
“People can try to fly like 20 feet above the ground, an experience like parachuting,” Cheung said.
“I think when people walk in they’ll feel like, wow,” said Cheung.
The new location is more than twice the size of the previous location on Vulcan Way. Cheung’s original Richmond Night Market in 2000 was at the Continental Centre before moving to Lansdowne Mall in 2003 to accommodate growing attendance.
Cheung believes the success of the Richmond Night Market can be partly attributed to the popularity of night markets in Asia.
But with more than one million visitors annually, word-of-mouth has made Richmond Night Market the most popular night market in North America and the largest multicultural event in Canada.
“It’s an attractive place to go for food or the different items you can buy,” he said. “And I think it’s created a unique atmosphere. I think people have also come to see the night market as a destination, including tourism.”
Another Asian-themed market, the Summer Night Market, opened last weekend on Vulcan Way. It will be open each weekend until Sept. 16.
The Richmond Night Market used to operate at that same site until a rent increase forced Cheung to question the economic viability of continuing there.
•8351 River Road (near River Rock Casino)
•Open May 18 to Oct. 8
•Hours of operation
Friday and Saturday: 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Sunday and statutory holidays: 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday (July and August) 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
• Admission: $1; free for children 10 and under and adults 60 and over