Early last fall, the Surrey Night Market experienced an unplanned season end when devastating winds swept across the Cloverdale Fair Grounds and totally destroyed the food and merchandise stalls, tossing tents across the parking lot, damaging food preparation equipment and the various entertainment venues. But they’re coming back again this year, bigger and better, and better prepared to handle any weather challenges.
“It was the support and good wishes of the stakeholders who called to ask how they could help, who offered to start collecting money to help out, or offered to come and help clean up. We thought that was so nice of them, but we didn’t ask any body to help,” said Satbir Cheema. “We had support from the media, so we thought with that much support we are definitely coming back.”
They are working full out on the preparations to open on June 3, in the same location at the Cloverdale Fair Grounds off 62nd Avenue, and will operate a shorter season this year, closing on August 14.
Cheema said that one of the big attractions they’re looking forward to incorporating is a beer garden. Currently they are seeking an operator, either non-profit or commercial to operate the facility. All the operator has to do is provide the staff and product, obtain a license and and provide a portion of the profits for charitable causes.
“After getting the license the rest is easy,” said Cheema. “We help them in setting it up, provide the power and water, tent sinks and furniture. All they need to do is bring in the product and begin operating.” They are receiving expressions of interest now, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
A major attraction of the market is the variety of vendors. Cheema said the Surrey Night Market is also a great opportunity for new entrepreneurs to test their new business ideas at a much less expense than committing to full start up costs. “Why not test drive it first and find out how the public responds,” said Cheema.
“Entertainment will be more coordinated this year, scheduled at times appropriate to the audiences. Children’s entertainers will be on earlier, then for the young people and for the older audience. We are lining up the performers now.”
Although they are comfortable with their food vendors right now, they are seeking more food vendors with a wider range from Thai to Italian. “The more variety we have the better” said Cheema.
“The kids area will be the highlight of the whole market, with a lot of attractions this year including bumper cars,” said Cheema. “People will be coming with their kids and the kids are not going to want to leave. It’s a safe place, we have good security, parking is free, and this year we are taking greater precautions anchoring the tents and weatherproofing the event. So plan to come and enjoy yourself at the Surrey Night Market. ”
Admission is very low, $2 for adult, children under four feet tall are free, as is anyone in a wheelchair and their attendant. Bring a non-perishable food donation or a new toy, and you’re in for free, charitable donations may bring free admission, veterans and serving members of the Armed forces and their families are free, as well as Seniors.
For more information for the public as well as vendors, check out their website at www.surreynightmarket.com .