Night Market returns to downtown Peterborough Friday

  • The Peterborough Night Market Aug. 10, 2019. Staff photo by MEGHAN PIERCE

  • The Peterborough Night Market Aug. 10, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • The Peterborough Night Market Aug. 10, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • The Peterborough Night Market Aug. 10, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • The Peterborough Night Market Aug. 10, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • The Peterborough Night Market Aug. 10, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • The Peterborough Night Market Aug. 10, 2019. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 8/18/2021 11:57:26 AM

Downtown Peterborough will light up Friday night in a way that’s reminiscent of the neighborhood streets in Thailand as the Night Market returns to bring together the culture and flavor of the Monadnock region all into one place.

Vendor booths will fill the municipal parking lot as one-of-a-kind art and handmade crafts invite prospective buyers to browse and the wafting aroma from food vendors will kick the cravings into high gear. Street performances will dazzle throughout the evening and live music will set the mood from a stage set up in front of the Toadstool Bookshop.

The streets around the municipal parking lot will be closed to traffic, so visitors to the Night Market can wander through the streets with food and wares in hand, traveling freely from spot to spot to capture it all.

“There’s all sort of interesting things from people in the area,” said Night Market Organizer Roy Schlieben. “And you want it to be an experience that’s totally different than you’d expect in downtown Peterborough or a typical art fair.”

The market begins at 5:30 p.m. with more than 40 vendors and five varieties of food offerings, something that was in much demand after the first venture in 2019.

“That was the biggest complaint we had was that we didn’t have enough food,” Schlieben said. And like the food, Schlieben said “I think everything will be a little bit bigger.”

There will be an interactive virtual reality station, as well as visual art installations. Add Flying Gravity Circus and its exciting show, and Contact Flow, a martial arts style show featuring lightsabers, and there’s plenty to see.

“At night it looks really cool,” Schlieben said.

Some of the performances will be earlier in the evening and others that are best seen in the dark.

“So you can come twice and get two different experiences,” Schlieben said. The Peterborough Community Theatre will also be open for a video installation. Modern Fools takes the stage at 6 p.m. accompanied by the performance of For Sure Dance, followed by DJ sets by Moderately Supreme and Larry Folger.

After an estimated 600 people showed up for the first market in 2019, Schlieben quickly put the wheels in motion for a second iteration in 2020. Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened and everything was put on hold. But in May, it appeared that “we might actually be able to do something this summer,” Schlieben said.

“Anytime you do an event like this, it’s a lot of work,” he said, between coordinating with artists and vendors, food suppliers and the town. But it quickly gained a lot of interest. “I think cautiously people wanted to do something like this. It feels like we have a lot of support and people want to see it happen and become a regular thing.”

Schlieben was inspired to bring the market to Peterborough after living in Thailand for four years, where there was a night bizarre in Bangkok nearby.

“During the day it would be an empty lot and then at night you had hundreds of vendors and food sellers and a big stage set up with performers and music,” he said.

The market will be open from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday. The streets around the market will close at 4:30 p.m. It is recommended that those unvaccinated wear masks, including children.


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