Jeramey Jannene

Night Market Returns to Downtown

In August, one of Downtown's top events will enjoy a post-pandemic revival.

By - Jun 2nd, 2021 11:23 am
NEWaukee Night Market. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

NEWaukee Night Market. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

One of Downtown’s premiere events is ending its pandemic-induced hiatus.

The NEWaukee Night Market will return to W. Wisconsin Ave. on August 18th. The market, which offers a mix of food, entertainment and retail vendors on a closed street, will once again be held in Westown.

But it’s a night market under new ownership. Social architecture firm NEWaukee is transferring the brand to Westown Association, the area business improvement district.

The firm transitioned to emphasis offering marketing, engagement and experience design services in 2020 in part due to the widespread cancelations triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In a lot of ways the night market was a runaway success, but not the way we always wanted to be operating,” said firm CEO Angela Damiani in an interview.

Westown will continue to partner with NEWaukee for event production services and collaborate on sponsorships. The market was started in 2014. It currently operates on W. Wisconsin Ave. from N. 2nd St. to N. Vel R. Phillips Ave.

“We originally thought it would be a one and done thing,” said Damiani, noting it started with a grant during the period when the city was trying to reinvigorate W. Wisconsin Ave. She said it grew into something that needed to be supported year round.

The event complements Westown’s existing Westown Wednesday programming. The organization hosts a lunch hour farmers market in Zeidler Union Square and a free evening, live music event, River Rhythms, at Pere Marquette Park.

“This is like the best case scenario,” said Damiani, of transitioning the event to a partner focused on the neighborhood.

In recent years, the market was held four times a year and Westown’s events occurred weekly throughout the summer. But the farmers market was canceled for 2021 and River Rhythms was postponed.

The 2021 market will be held on Wednesday, August 18th from 5:00 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event is free to attend.

More information on the event, including a call for vendors, is available on the website:

NEWaukee will continue its focus on creating new events and programs. “We continue to be an engagement agency that helps people build meaningful and engaging experiences,” said Damiani. She said half of its clients are already looking for in-person experiences as vaccination rates rise.

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