Sunday, July 17, 2011

Night it up!

     Aside from all the east Asians present, you know you're at an East Asian festival when you walk into a parking lot with tents set up and the strong scent of stinky tofu. Like the Taste of Asia Festival that was held at Kennedy Road and Steeles Avenue, Night it up! is an annual East Asian festival where people can have a taste of Asian street food. There are also functions like basketball tournaments and music concerts at these events.

This year, Night it up! was held at the Markham Civic Centre at Highway 7 and Warden Avenue on July 15th and 16th. They closed the parking lot to the civic centre, so people had to park their vehicles at the nearby plaza and neighborhoods.

I visited the festival yesterday around 6 PM and was surprised to see the many lonely finished pineapple drinks sitting around the place. There was even a pokémon card lying in a flower bed!

There were mostly young Asian couples at the time I arrived, but more families walked onto the festival grounds later in the night.

A highlight of my experience at Night it up! was getting to see a bit of smoke coming out of a metal garbage bin. I've seen a wooden garbage can on fire at a cemetery before, but not at a festival. I alerted the fire and emergency services booth and learned that we're suppose to call 9-1-1 in situations where smoke is coming out of a garbage bin. The burned item was taken care of and I continued with my journey around the festival grounds.

What I disliked about the festival was all the garbage people left lying around and the ground becoming blackened. It looked like people treated flower beds as garbage beds and the ground around the tents turned from a light gray to smokey dark gray. Since most of the people who were at the festival were East Asian, I have to say... gosh, are the majority of East Asians who visited the festival ever so filthy.

There was an area where people left paintings. It was refreshing, but I couldn't help noticing the two or three paintings of sad or frustrated looking black children with a desert-like background. I felt a great sense of sadness and disappointment while looking at those two or three paintings. I mean, they're great paintings (though the brush work was a bit sloppy in my opinion) that seem to promote awareness of famine experienced by black people in Africa (?), but does it target the real issue? I mean the real issue where climate change has a direct effect with famine and poverty around the world, but many of the booths at the festival are releasing clouds of C02 (and other compounds) into the air, most people are driving to the festival, and a lot of food is being wasted in the garbage bins and the ground. ... I guess it does target the issue in a way.

Here's one of the sillier paintings displayed.

I'm still trying to decipher its meaning...

In conclusion, Night it up! was stinky tofu. Seriously, I'm still trying to get the smell of stinky tofu off of me.

Images can be found in the Asian Festivals
around Toronto photo album:
Asian Festivals around Toronto


  1. Have you been to other street festivals in Toronto e.g. Pride, Taste of the Danforth etc? It's not much cleaner. Plenty of litter left by all sorts of people. The important thing is that the litter/garbage gets cleaned up. To insinuate that people, especially Asian people are somehow more inconsiderate isn't fair.

  2. Wow it looks pretty filthy from what I can tell from your pics. I didn't really see that when I went on the Saturday. When I went, I found that garbage cans were hard to locate. I think my sister had said they had trouble emptying it on the Friday so had to move it to the outskirts. Maybe the difficulty of finding trash cans only made the littering worse.

    I thought it was fun ^^ But then again I'm always easily amused.

  3. To Anonymous:
    Yes, you're right. It isn't fair for me to be judging Asian people without visiting other street festivals first. I should have questioned about other festivals and their litter. Thank you for pointing that out.

    To Nat:
    I noticed that there were only garbage and recycle bins outside of the tent area, but most of the litter I found were close the garbage bins. All the other areas were pretty clean in the time I was there. Aside from that, I'm glad you had fun!

  4. Doesn't sound like you were very pleased with the overall event experience... As most blogs I've read talked about the food and you here... talking about the garbage? Well anyhow, thanks for coming out to support!

    -one of the organizers

  5. To Chocomerre:
    I figured there would be plenty of blogs talking about the food and entertainment, so I chose to talk about something outside of those two.


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