State Street is known for its liveliness — most times, there are strings of students and adults perusing through local businesses, diners laughing loudly from outdoor seating, visitors holding flowers and other goods from farmer’s markets and local musicians busking.
State Street will see this bustling activity after hours with the upcoming Madison Night Market. After a year-long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Madison Night Market will be returning this fall.
Over 30 businesses on State Street are participating, as well as other vendors and food trucks. The next upcoming market will take place Sept. 16 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
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The Market has been moved to State Street from North Gilman and Peace Park, where it has been held in previous years. The move to State Street is a big one for the market and will surely drive droves of people anxious to get a taste of an in-person outdoor experience.
The market is presented by the City of Madison in partnership with Madison Central Business Improvement District.
Formed in 1999, BID is comprised of businesses and organizations from Park Street to the Capitol Square, working to “market the district as a whole, create a welcoming downtown environment, and further community relations,” according to their website. BID did not respond to a request for comment at the time this story was published.
There are a number of cultural and local organizations partnering with the City of Madison and BID to represent the cultural richness of the isthmus and highlight the contributions of local groups to the community. Among these groups are the Latino Chamber of Commerce, the League of Women Voters in Dane County and the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County.
For example, the League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan, nonprofit group in Dane County, whose goal is to promote informed and active participation of citizens in government at all levels, according to an email statement sent to The Badger Herald.
The LWV will have a booth to provide information on the organization’s work and voting rights. They will also be working in conjunction with the booth from the Madison’s Clerk Office, who will be registering people to vote at the Madison Night Market.
This event is also a way for local businesses and vendors to show the community what they are about. A variety of businesses will have tables and booths set up outside the shop, while others will also be running promotions on special items within their stores.
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A manager from Art Gecko, a BID business who has long been participating in the Madison Night Markets, said these events are a great way to spread awareness about businesses, such as where businesses source their items and whether they are fair trade.
Another participating business, Le C’s Patisserie and Teahouse, said they will be offering raffles for mooncakes — just in time for the annual Chinese Mid-Autumn festival. Customers will be able to learn about the autumnal celebration while buying food and drinks.
The business will also be offering samples from their bakery, which include a lot of international eats such as red bean breads, as well as popular treats like custard buns.
Many businesses on State Street are also involved in community projects and charities. The Madison Night Market provides a way for businesses to connect with customers and a place where people can ask questions about how local businesses interact with the community beyond State Street.
Besides connecting with the community and picking up cool items for a bargain, some other things not to miss include live music, food trucks and pop up restaurant experiences and entertainment, which will be provided by Boulder Climbing Gym and Revel DIY.
Live music will be played from the Lisa Link Peace Park, and the lineup includes songs by the Angela Puerta Band from five to six p.m., the Urban Community Arts Network from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Edi Rey y su Salsera eight to nine p.m.
These musicians bring a fresh mix of music and different genres to the table, presenting a musical potluck from different communities within Madison.
Angela Puerta Band is led by Madison-based Colombian-American singer-songwriter Angela Puerta. UCAN is an organization that is “dedicated to supporting sustainability in the Madison Hip-Hop community and advocating for equity in the local arts and entertainment,” according to their website.
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Edi Rey y su Salsera is a salsa band that specializes in a number of genres of Latin mix.
Whether you are looking for a bargain, tasty international treats or a night out with your loved ones, the Madison Night Market surely has something for everyone.