Founded in 2014, Portland’s Jade International Night Market is the epitome of a multicultural community event. Strings of lights and lanterns illuminate the Southeast Portland parking lot where this annual event takes place. Scents of garlicky beef satay and crisp lumpia fill the air as children sit cross-legged during dragon dance performances. What started as a small volunteer group has expanded to keep up with attendance, which has grown to 20,000 attendees annually.
Origins of the Jade International Night Market
The Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) founded the market following a series of workshops in which Jade District community members identified their needs. With “opportunities for community gathering” declared a top priority, the first Jade International Night Market was organized. The festival’s goal was to attract a few hundred attendees. Incredibly, 6,000 people showed up.
Todd Struble, Jade District Manager at APANO, and fellow organizers Rosaline Hui and Nannette Tran work to ensure the event supports local values. Struble recalls that before they hosted the inaugural market, his team saw a void in the community. “Our volunteers recognized that there were no outdoor events that reflected the culture of the Jade District residents,” he said.
Celebrate Chinese American Portland with two major festivals in the winter and spring.
Portland's Japanese American community offers engaging activities all year long.
Portland hosts its own Japanese Mochitsuki Festival, Vietnamese Tet Festival and multiple Chinese New Year events.
The Jade District Community
The Jade District is a lively neighborhood centered around the intersection of Southeast Division Street and Southeast 82nd Avenue. Although its borders cover less than one square mile (2.6 sq km), the district supports more than 400 small businesses. Many recent Asian immigrants and refugees call the Jade District home, and nearly 50% of all residents are people of color.
Night markets are integral to life in Asia, providing space for community members to shop, eat and socialize. The Jade International Night Market’s two stages also offer entertainment like Vietnamese and Bollywood dance and Japanese taiko drumming. For many in attendance, the Jade International Night Market is a welcome reminder of their roots.
“This event is important because it reflects the culture and diversity of Southeast Portland,” Strubel explained. “As one of the most diverse census tracts in the city of Portland, we try to ensure that vendors, performers and speakers all have a connection to this community and the folks who live and work here.”
The Night Market isn’t just a fun outdoor event, he said, but one that exists to support the surrounding community. “Our goal is to ensure that the stories, experiences and culture of the attendees build an experience that folks in this neighborhood can rally behind, and the event works to anchor the community.”
Thai Food in Portland
Thai food in Portland is some of the city's best cuisine with options that are cheap or pricey, sweet or savory, authentic or Americanized, vegan or meaty.
Portland’s Best Dumplings
Every February, Portland celebrates its love for dough-wrapped delights with Dumpling Week. Best of all? Delicious dumplings are available year-round.
Portland Ramen Restaurants
The Portland ramen scene has exploded in recent years, spurred by the arrival of two authentic eateries straight from Tokyo.
Eight Great Sushi Spots Around Portland
Portland is only an hour away from the Pacific Ocean, so it should come as no surprise that the city’s sushi options are both delicious and expansive.
Chef Carlo Lamagna Brings Filipino Food to the Forefront in Portland
Opening in spring 2019, Magna explores the wide world of Filipino cuisine.
A Japanese New Year tradition, Mochitsuki refers to the pounding of sticky rice to make mochi rice cakes. Mochitsuki Portland has been an annual Japanese-American New Year cultural celebration in the local community since 1996. The family-friendly festival has grown in popularity each year since, bringing together food, artwork, cultural booths, demonstrations, and local music…