Less two months remain until Mt. Airy gets another taste of Night Market and the event’s organizer, Mt. Airy USA (MAUSA) is busy preparing for the festival’s return. MAUSA will bring Night Market back to the neighborhood August 16.
MAUSA met with food vendors two weeks ago to lay out a process for participation. The organization expects to see a total of 35 vendors, including nine local restaurants take part in the event. “If we get more, that would be great.” exclaimed Elizabeth Moselle, MAUSA’s director of Commercial Corridor Revitalization & head of the Business Association of Mt. Airy (BAM).
So far, Mt. Airy restaurants who have applied for temporary permits are: Avenida, GeeChee Girl Rice Cafe, Wine Thief, Earth Bread + Brewery, Trolley Car Diner, McMenamin’s Tavern, Little Jimmie’s Bakery Cafe, Food for All and Trio Delight (who will be serving Korean food).
Applications for vendors are available on the GoMtAiry website. While the deadline for restaurant participation has passed, Moselle explained the health department application process is shorter for food trucks so there is still a few weeks time to obtain the temporary permits needed.
Alcohol will be served by some vendors, but whether to charge a separate fee for the “beer garden” remains undecided. MAUSA’s Executive Director, Anuj Gupta disclosed that MAUSA is waiting to see how well Food Trust is able to pull off the concept at this Thursday’s Washington Avenue Night Market before making a final decision.
More than just food
A new component to the festival will be artisan craft vendors, organized through Renaissance Craftables. Moselle said the goal is to attract about 25 crafters who wish to showcase their wares at the foodie event.
MAUSA will also be partnering with Philadelphia public radio station, WXPN for the music component of the foodie festival. Gupta stated that to date the music acts have not been lined up. “WXPN is working on that,” he commented.
This year, Night Market will stretch further along Germantown Avenue to accommodate the extra food and craft vendors. Moselle said MAUSA has obtained permits to block the avenue from Allens Lane to Carpenter Lane. Lovett Library Park will likely have a role in the festivities, but MAUSA is “not sure how we’re going to use the space.” Moselle said.
Last year, parking had been an issue for many Mt. Airy residents who live on the side streets just off of the commercial corridor and also for Acme Market’s customers. This time around, parking will be coordinated between a valet company and New Covenant Church. There will be a dedicated spot on Germantown Avenue where people can bring their cars to a valet service who will then drive the vehicles to New Covenant’s grounds. “Hopefully that will take some of the pressure off the side streets,” remarked Gupta.
Footing the bill
Gupta stated that it will cost around $24,000 to put on Night Market. MAUSA bears the full cost of this year’s event and must raise money through sponsorship and vendor fees. Last summer, expenses were covered by local non-profit, Food Trust under a grant received from the William Penn Foundation. While MAUSA has co-opted the Night Market name, its partnership with Food Trust is much more limited.
Sponsors include East River Bank, TD Bank, Iron Stone Developers, NewCourtland, Acme Markets (obviously, no hard feelings held over from last year’s parking snafus) and Chevrolet, as well as Food Trust sponsors B101 and Lankenau Hospital.
“The concept works. We think its worth raising money for,” Gupta said.