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Night market serving up ‘summer magic’

By Angel St. George

Published 3:11 PDT, Fri May 6, 2022

The Richmond Night Market, North America’s largest, is open for the 2022 season. 

The annual event aims to make your summer nights deliciously entertaining. Its theme this year is Summer Magic Rainbow, using bright colours to inspire happiness. 

“The rainbow represents the end of a rainstorm,” says founder Raymond Cheung. “After the storm of the pandemic, the sun is shining through right here.” 

Cheung founded the market 22 years ago as an endeavour to contribute something unique and family-friendly to Richmond’s night life. 

“Richmond’s night life scene was very different 22 years ago,” says Cheung. “My background is from Hong Kong, (and) in comparison it seemed very quiet here. I always had trouble finding something to do after work, so I said: ‘Why don’t we have a night market?’” 

The market has grown from a handful of patrons to over a million visitors each year between May and October. Its mascot is a happy yellow duck. 

“We use the duck as our mascot because the legal name of the land the market is built on is Duck Island,” says Cheung. “All the other land lots in the city are titled by a serial number except this one. Everybody loves ducks and when people see ducks it makes them feel happy, so we chose the duck as our signature mascot.” 

For many night market enthusiasts, the biggest appeal is its international food court. There are over 500 unique food items to try while exploring this year’s historic replica of Shanghai night markets in 1960. 

“We customized all the lights this year to capture vintage Chinese night market style combined with modern perspectives,” says Cheung. “We use a lot of colours to inspire happiness—that’s why we included so many different colours in our neon signs. At night when (the signs) turn up you’ll think: ‘Wow.’” 

The full-scale game area is a highlight this year, having been closed last year due to the pandemic. In addition, a Coca-Cola theme park features limited-edition prizes and a 9.1 metre (30 foot) bouncy castle for adults. 

An express pass can be purchased at the main entrance for $35. It includes six visits and allows guests to enter without having to wait in line. A free coupon book is available to download on the Richmond Night Market website and offers over $250 in savings. 

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