Home News Inaugural night market a hit

Inaugural night market a hit

Marcus Bankuti The Eastern Door

The smell of fry bread and wood fire wafted through the crisp evening air Wednesday evening as Kahnawake families took in the Winter Carnival’s first-ever night market.

“I think it’s awesome,” said Summer Lazare, community events coordinator at the Kahnawake Youth Center (KYC), which organizes the Winter Carnival each year. 

“You always hear about this being only in Montreal or other surrounding communities. I think this is a really good turnout and I think everybody’s enjoying it.”

The market took place beneath gleaming string lights between the Golden Age Club and the Town Rink, with vendors of all kinds setting up shop along the path to promote their crafts, treats, and other products. Propane heating and crackling fires – not to mention the Golden Age Club’s bathroom – provided respite as Kahnawa’kehró:non shopped and mingled.

“I wanted to come to support the community and all the other vendors, to see what was going on and what it was all about,” said Lacey Diabo, who attended with her husband and two children.

“It’s beautiful, I love it,” she said. “I was surprised when I turned around the corner and saw all the lights.”

Diabo noted she’s been to similar events across the Mercier Bridge, but never here in town. Her daughter bought a change purse and her son purchased a bag, while she picked up a spicy jam.

“There’s something for everyone,” she said.

Kahnawake Fire Brigade captain Karonhiio Curotte was on duty at the event, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t enjoy it.

“It’s pretty cool. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen anything like this,” he said. He especially liked the idea of the nearby pond hockey tournament, which unfolded at the same time at the Town Rink on the other side of the path, noting the chilly but bearable weather was just right for it.

Phoenix White was also drawn to the ice, but he was a fan of the night market as well. “It’s really good,” he said. It didn’t take him long to identify his personal favourite vendor: “Probably the candy store,” said the eight-year-old.

Diana Murphy made the trek from LaSalle to introduce Kahnawake to her freeze-dried candy business, Sweet Dee’s, which also offers imported sugary novelties.

“It was a first, and I thought it’d be interesting to see what it’s like. I like to go to new markets and just get my name out there also,” she said.

Kahnawa’kehró:non with a sweet tooth were also treated to desserts from the BeaverTails food truck, courtesy of KYC, which handed out vouchers to community members.

There were several local businesses on site as well, such as the 392 Pepper Company, which was showing off new spicy chips and a range of hot sauces.

“It’s just a perfect thing to do – get out, meet people, and talk to people you haven’t seen in a while,” said owner John Mayo.

Even though the enterprise’s hot sauces are offered at stores throughout town, Mayo still sees value in promoting the family business at events like these, not least because it gives people a chance to try before they buy.

This can be especially important for a hot sauce business, he said, because spice tolerance can be so subjective, making it hard to simply describe on a label how hot something is.

“It’s a community event, and we’re from the community, so it’s a perfect time to get out and show off what we’re offering,” he said.

He’s enjoyed local markets before, but this was the first one he’s participated in at night, especially a frosty one.

“It’s better than being in the sun and rain,” he said. “I mean, it’d be horrible, I guess, if it was a snow storm. But for the most part, I think it’s pretty cool. And no pun intended.”

gmbankuti@gmail.com

This article was originally published in print on February 9 in issue 33.06 of The Eastern Door.

Marcus Bankuti, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

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Marcus is a journalist and managing editor of The Eastern Door, where he has been reporting since 2021 on issues that matter to Kahnawake and Kanesatake. He was previously editor-in-chief of The Link and a contributing editor at Our Canada magazine.

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Marcus is a journalist and managing editor of The Eastern Door, where he has been reporting since 2021 on issues that matter to Kahnawake and Kanesatake. He was previously editor-in-chief of The Link and a contributing editor at Our Canada magazine.