Feb. 11, 2021 By Christian Murray
The organizers of the Queens Night Market have announced plans to return to Flushing Meadows Corona Park for their sixth season this year—after having to scrap the event in 2020 as a result of COVID-19.
The event, which features dozens of food vendors on a series of Saturday nights, is tentatively scheduled to begin at the park on April 17 and run through Oct. 30.
“It’s hard to keep up with all the pandemic news and the vaccine rollout,” said John Wang, founder of the market. “When the light at the end of this tunnel finally emerges, whether it’s in mid-April or later in the summer, we plan to be there.”
Wang said it doesn’t make sense to open the event if there are major restrictions on attendance in place. He said that the participating food vendors are subject to price caps of $5 or $6 per item and need a large volume of people to make it viable.
The market, Wang said, was attended by 15,000 visitors on an average Saturday night in 2019.
He said that the average food vendor generated about $2,000 in sales per night in 2019, a large number given the price cap on food.
The cost for a vendor to set up at the market varies. A standard food vendor who prepares food and sells it at $5 would typically pay between $170 and $185 a night.
The Queens Night Market has received nearly 150 applications for its 2021 season. Wang anticipates that the number of applications will be down this year–compared to previous years–given the pandemic.
However, the 2021 season is still expected to include an array of food vendors offering items from a range of nations, such as Afghanistan, Indonesia, Portugal, the Philippines, Romania, Vietnam, Cambodia, Colombia, Tibet, Japan, Mexico, Peru, India, Sudan and more.
Since the market’s inception in 2015, 90 countries have been represented through their vendors and food, Wang said.
The organizers of the market are also hosting a series of free small business seminars starting Feb. 23 in partnership with the NYC Department of Small Business Services, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and the Queens Economic Development Corp.
Three seminars are planned and they will cover topics such as business plans, branding, marketing, social media and technology. For more information, click here.
This will be the sixth year that the Queens Night Market is hosting the free seminars. This year will be different, Wang said, given the devastation to small businesses as a result of the pandemic.
Wang said his goal is to help the industry rebound.
“We hope that these seminars will encourage at least a few aspiring entrepreneurs to step into the decimated small business economy that will ultimately fuel New York’s recovery.”