West Oak Lane’s upcoming Night Market to focus on food, not jazz

West Oak Lane will again see a festival along its commercial corridor this summer, but this year, it will have a decidedly different flavor.

The neighborhood is among four new locations selected for Food Trust’s “2013 Night Market” series.

The Food Trust has teamed up with Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corporation (OARC) to bring the celebrated street fair to Ogontz Avenue on June 20.

“We’re two organizations that know how to throw well-organized party!” said John Ungar, OARC’s chief operating officer.

No, it’s not a new jazz festival

While Ungar noted there will be entertainment, those hoping for a return of the defunct West Oak Lane Jazz and Arts Festival should note that the music won’t be the primary focus.

Still, three acts have been so far confirmed: Germantown’s Philadelphia School of Circus Arts; Japanese taiko drumming group KyoDiako; and  the Kimmel Center Youth Jazz Ensemble. OARC is working on lining up more entertainment.

Ungar said the event will balance the Food Trust’s food-focused mission while also giving outsiders an idea of what makes the neighborhood special.

“We really want to give it a West Oak Lane flair,” he said.

The logistics

The festival will take place on Ogontz Avenue between Washington Lane and Middleton St., which is roughly the same footprint as the jazz festival.

Between 40 and 50 food vendors are expected to participate while Ungar noted that OARC is currently reaching out to neighborhood restaurants who may want to get involved.

Unlike the Jazz Festival, Ungar says OARC will not be bringing in other marketplace vendors.

Costs for putting on the event are estimated to run in the lower $20,000 range, he said.

While the Food Trust will cover most of the bill, the organizations are working together to cover remaining costs. Ungar said a few sponsors have already been lined up, with more being sought.

“We’re excited about the partnership,” he said. “We really want to showcase West Oak Lane as a food destination,” Ungar said.

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