The San Diego Night Market, an open-air market similar to those found in major cities throughout Asia, returned to the Convoy District in Kearny Mesa Saturday with Asian food and entertainment.

Thousands attended the event from  4 p.m. to midnight along Engineer and Convoy streets, and Mayor Kevin Faulconer was on hand to present a certificate to the organizers, a consortium of business and community leaders, neighborhood residents and others.

More then 50 vendors sold Asian street food, merchandise and crafts such as boba drinks, specialty tofu and apparel, and singers, dancers and other performers entertained visitors. Acts included Japanese and Taiwanese style drumming by Naruwan Taiko, the Sea Lion Dance Troupe and acoustic musician Terry Matsuoka.

“Following the successes of similar night markets that have spread along the Pacific Rim through Vancouver, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, we are ecstatic to bring back this event to San Diego,” Convoy District consortium co-founder Ping Wang said. “This event is aimed to highlight local businesses and showcase local artistic talent.”

The goal was to bring to San Diego a taste of Asia while raising awareness of the various businesses and cultural facilities in the neighborhood, which officials said has the highest concentration of Asian businesses in the region.

“The return of the night market reaffirms San Diego as an international city rich in innovation, arts, culture and diversity,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “I encourage all San Diegans to support our local small businesses and celebrate the tastes and flavors of San Diego’s thriving Asian-Pacific Islander community.”

— City News Service

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.