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Asian night market rolling into Bayfront Park

Come hungry and ready for fun in the sun or in the dark at Lucky Lion Night Market this weekend.

More than 100 Asian-inspired food items, a DJ and bar, lion dancing, claw machines, merchants, workshops and crafts are all coming to Hamilton this weekend. 

Since 2019, Hamilton’s Bayfront Park has been the setting for a night market – a popular fixture in East and Southeast Asian cultures for hundreds of years. Organizers chef Linh Vu with his partner Julia Park (a teacher) and a support team connected to Sprout – a youth-led non-profit organization – organize Lucky Lion Night Markets in various southern Ontario locations.

This year they had a Hamilton event on the Mother’s Day weekend and are back again on the August long weekend (Aug. 4-7), with daytime as well as late-night hours. Dozens of food stalls will appeal to all with an interest in foods – most with Asian influences – some familiar, some perhaps not. 

Bayfront Park provides a lovely natural setting with grass and picnic tables for those who prefer not to eat while standing. Funky pink imitation cherry trees, dragons, lion dances and percussion music welcome you to the food feast.

Watch for the tandoor-like ovens signaling that you are at the Shao Bing Ge stall making “Chinese pizza.” The layered flatbread can be ordered plain or with pork and onion filling. Skewers of lamb, beef, chicken, squid and octopus tentacles abound for those seeking protein. Pair them with a blooming onion or skewered and deep-fried potatoes, sweet potatoes or taro.

There are noodles galore, such as Pan Pan hot dry noodles. Not actually hot spicy, the sauce is added while the noodles are hot and then your job is to shake or mix them up. (This has recently become an “as seen on TV” food treat.)

Beverages abound in the form of bubble tea (sometimes toted in plastic bag containers), fresh sugar cane juice and the return of Hamilton’s Lemon Bar offering refreshing fruit fusion lemonades. New this year was the icy Jello beverages from Hello Bing Fen.

For those with a sweet tooth, there is candy floss served in creative forms, sometimes as “burritos” – ice cream wrapped in candy floss. Don’t take a pass on the bubble waffles, which are delicious even plain but terrific when filled with ice cream and toppings. 

Begin or end your visit at the carnival arcade stand where you may win a stuffed toy.

Happening: Bayfront Park, 200 Harbour Front Dr.
Hours: Friday 4 p.m. – 12 a.m.; Saturday and Sunday 2 p.m.-12 a.m.; Monday 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
What you'll pay: Admission and parking are free. Pay as you go for food.

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