On the evenings of August 15th and 22nd, nearly 20,000 people converged on SE 82nd and Division, the center of Portland's Jade District, for the Second Annual International Jade Night Market.
Many local businesses set up booths where visitors could buy various wares and delicious multicultural foods. There were also two stages with music and performances, many fair-style games and a beer garden serving Portland Brewing's Night Market Special Lager.
Visitors could also wander into the Jade/APANO Multicultural Space (JAMS)--a community space for neighborhood events, activities and meetings, which has taken up residence inside an old discount furniture store. Recently, the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) used JAMS to host the Vision Zero kick off event. (The Vision Zero Task Force aims to improve traffic safety for Portland neighborhoods.) This Fall, JAMS will host Our Families, Our Homes, a film series about gentrification and displacement. And many more events are sure to come!
These events are all part of the effort to energize the Jade District around common goals. The Jade District seeks to unite the community around vibrant culture and commerce, making the Jade District a "must-see destination" for visitors, as well as a better environment for its multicultural residents. So far it seems to be working pretty well!
(Even better, the Jade District's Steering Committee is entirely made up of community members who live, work and/or own property in the Jade District!)