The Boston Little Saigon cultural district is organizing its first-ever Cho Dem (Night Market), which will include closing off a section of Dorchester Avenue to vehicles for an evening of fun, music, and food along the street. The event will be held between Park Street and the Adams Street intersection on Sat., July 16 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. The avenue will be closed off starting at 2:30 p.m.
“It should be a good mix of everything because we’re trying to highlight the community and bring everyone together in Fields Corner,” said Annie Le, director of Boston Little Saigon. “Night markets do happen in Boston already, but people maybe aren’t comfortable going to City Hall for those events. Having the event down the street – really on the street – might make people more comfortable to come and check it out.
The Cho Dem will feature food from local restaurants, live music, a Vietnamese-style Bingo game, and even a crawfish eating contest – which might be a first-ever event for Dorchester. A beer garden is also planned at the Blarney Stone.
The Night Market will have vendors on the street, as well as businesses located in the area serving from their kitchen.
Le said Bait 2 Plate will be serving directly from their kitchen, and My Sister’s Crawfish hopes to be cooking outside to some extent.
“We want to make it as easy for the business owners as possible,” said Le. “All of our business owners have been going through challenges upon challenges for the last three years. We want to bring people and the community to them.”
Le said they have had events in the past at Town Field, about a block away, but that has been difficult for business owners in Fields Corner to attend due to having to staff two locations.
Fields Corner earned the ‘Little Saigon’ designation in May 2021, following a lengthy application process before the Mass Cultural Council, the agency which has managed the statewide program since its inception in 2011.
There are presently 51 such districts across the state, three of them in Boston, including the Latin Quarter in Jamaica Plain. Each designation offers special access to grants and state-sponsored aid. Boston Little Saigon also secured a substantial $75,000 “Our Town” grant from the National Endowment for the Arts last year.