DC night bazaar celebrates Asian culture, supports small businesses

Imagine street food vendors as far as the eye can see in a trendy part of town at night.

The Red Eye, the District’s first-of-its-kind Asian-inspired night bazaar, happens Saturday from 4 p.m. to midnight.

Organizers created it to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander culture in D.C., and to support small businesses still struggling to rebound from the pandemic.

“Night markets differ between each country,” said Peter Chang, who developed The Red Eye. “People might be in a bustling urban area, go out to a night club or bar on a weekend, and when they get out, they jump into these night markets and have this amazing food all night.”

The event is the brainchild of the No Kings Collective, a creative-arts group founded by Chang and Brandon Hill, whose large-scale murals are scattered throughout D.C.

The Red Eye is designed to bring AAPI culture to the District through food, Chang said.

“We’re about bringing people together and sharing experiences,” he said. “Culture is not just art; it’s music, dance and food, to create a bridge between so many different groups.”

The city is a sponsor of the open-air night bazaar, which features dozens of chefs, food trucks and performing arts groups, said Jinhee Kim, chief creative officer at Events DC, the district’s official convention and sports authority.

And it offers added support for artists still struggling to recover work lost during the pandemic, she said.

“We’re open for business,” Kim said. “We’re hoping people from around the DMV come out.” She added that she hopes to make it an annual event “so people will be enticed to come into the city.”

Entrances to Red Eye are in Northwest at Pennsylvania Avenue and 6th Street, and at Constitution Avenue and 3rd Street.

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Gigi Barnett

Gigi Barnett is an anchor at WTOP. She has worked in the media for more than 20 years. Before joining WTOP, she was an anchor at WJZ-TV in Baltimore, KXAN-TV in Austin, Texas, and a staff reporter at The Miami Herald. She’s a Navy wife and mom of three.

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