There’s a good energy every week at Downtown’s Thursday Night Market, where local and regional artisans, musicians, and food vendors assemble from 5 until 9 PM on the Promenade between 3rd and 4th streets.
Market Manager Hannah Perez surveyed last Thursday’s market at Mosaic and liked what she saw. “It’s really great that we get a lot of local people and that there are many return vendors, so it very much feels like a community,” she said.
At one of the vendor booths, Kai Wilson was working solo, supporting his wife Kaili’s business, Kailifornia Handcrafted Jewelry and Accessories, while she stayed home tending to their newborn.
Kai, a DJ who pivoted to teaching seventh-graders in South Central Los Angeles, is proud of Kaili, a life-long jeweler, who he said “swears that the coincidence of our names means it’s a match made in heaven.”
Kaili made her own pivot at the onset of the pandemic, when her restaurant service industry job abruptly stopped. That’s when she made a full commitment to her own business.
“We started at the market in spring of ’22, and a year later it’s been profitable — Kaili’s doing better than she’s ever done before,” said Kai.
On a table at another booth, a tasty grouping of what looked like pudding or sundaes caught the eyes of many passersby. They’re the creations of Christiana Williams, whose line of Lovely Naturals Home & Body self-care products includes a mouth-watering menu of candles: Vanilla Sugar Cookie, Red Velvet Cake, Granny’s Apple Pie, Cafe Latte, and Blueberry Cobbler, all beautifully scented and good-looking enough to eat.
Williams, a market vendor for about a year, drives to Downtown weekly from her home in faraway Rancho Cucamonga. She hits the freeway in the early afternoon to avoid the grueling rush-hour traffic.
Williams mentioned the live music, DJs, and her weekly interaction with the diverse people of Downtown as her favorite parts of the market.
Nearby Promenade shops get a boost from the market. “We do get extra foot traffic, and the vendors like to visit us as well,” said Marisol, a bobarista at Loose Leaf Boba Company, close to the southwest corner of the market.
Up the block, busy gourmet dessert servers at Churrino also noted that there is definitely increased business on Thursday evenings.
Spring and summer sunsets are especially picturesque at the market, making it easy to step out for a full evening in Downtown. Plan a visit soon on any Thursday evening, and be good to yourself! Peruse the wares and artworks of the market’s 20 to 30 excellent vendors, then take a stroll across 3rd Street for dinner at a variety of restaurants, including Dog Haus, Beachwood, 123 Pho and more.
For visitors and vendors alike, learn more about the Thursday Night Market here. Follow Lovely Naturals Home & Body on Instagram at @lovelynaturalshb and Kailifornia Handcrafted Jewelry and Accessories at @kailifornia.
Those driving can find two hours of free parking in the structure next to the event at 50 E. 3rd St. But why not walk, ride your bike, or take the free shuttle? Check out the City of Long Beach’s free local shuttle here. Find out more about Long Beach Bike Share here.
We’re always on the lookout for Downtown businesses, events, community members and more to highlight in our Downtown Scene newsletter, on our website, and social media channels! If you have an event coming up or know of any Downtown-based amazingness going on that people need to know about, give us a shout by emailing our Communications & Marketing Manager, Asia Morris, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also submit an upcoming Downtown event to our events calendar at downtownlongbeach.org/events.