Over a year ago, Emma Pelett asked herself, “If we had a night market, how would it change the neighborhood?”
The Pelett family and friends stepped up to create the Portland Night Market, a very successful market-style event, where local business owners display their merchandise and personal contributions in the Central Eastside Industrial District.
The market was a free event open to the public on Friday, Nov. 20 and Saturday, Nov. 21.
“We wanted to do something that would bring people here and change people’s perception,” Pelett said. “This isn’t some scary place under a bridge. People have incredible businesses down here.”
Portland Night Market was a popular place to be, with lines five people thick wrapping around the block. It succeeded in bringing foot traffic to the lower Eastside to explore the businesses and expand the community.
Sam Baker, a producer at Do503, helped manage the public relations of the Portland Night Market. His goal was to maximize the amount of attendees that could attend the event.
“It’s amazing of the Pelett’s of City Liquidators, they’ve been a local business for 40 years,” Baker said. “And it’s been such an amazing part of the Central Eastside Industrial District that they would put what it takes into this project to get people to come down to the district and help activate it.”
Pelett wanted the public to experience the businesses just as much as she wanted the creators and business owners to meet each other. This event was about creating a sense of neighborhood for the people and businesses around the Portland Night Market.
“We are stronger together,” Pelett said. “I wanted to bring people together to create a sense of community. This neighborhood doesn’t have the community that the west side does or the Pearl District does. I think it’s important to bring people together on both ends.”
If the Portland Night Market is able to become a regular event, it will help fuel the Central Eastside’s sense of community and serve as one more more fun market to attend in Portland.