A new 10-week series of Thursday night markets featuring artisan vendors, food trucks, live music, beer and wine garden, and more launches June 22 at Parque de los Pobladores in the SoFA district.
“Pobladores Night Market will be a place where the local community can hang out together,” said event creator Fil Maresca of Filco Events. “Meet neighbors, support local businesses and artists, eat at a food truck, have a beer, catch some live music, interact with art displays and just be social should be enough encouragement for people to get outside for the evening.”
Night markets have “taken off” around the country in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic, he said.
“These are simple events to put together, and a positive experience for everyone – in a place where you can bring your family, grandma, dogs and strollers, and meet your neighbors.”
In putting the event together, Maresca quickly received partnership support from San Jose Downtown Association and five arts and culture organizations on the same block as the park – MACLA, San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, Veggielution in the SoFA Dog Park, Sacred Heart and the Institute of Contemporary Art.
The arts groups looked to host a block party in June, and SJDA sought to partner with additional programming that supports businesses this summer after pausing the Downtown Farmers’ Market for the 2023 season. SJDA is assisting with production costs and marketing of the night markets that continue through Aug. 31.
The first Night Market next Thursday will be super-sized by the second Block Party event produced by Urban Vibrancy Institute.
“They bring a lot of energy, vibrancy and people to neighborhood when they do their UVI Block Parties,” said Maresca, who reached out to combine forces for one night. “For their party last month in the Historic District, they had several activation areas. This time, we’ll anchor the south end.”
Utilizing the reaches of SJDA, Filco, UVI, the SoFA arts groups; notices sent to the large residential properties including SPARQ, The Taft, The Pierce, 360 Residences, and surrounding neighborhoods, the potential for a very large party exists.
“We could see 3,000 or more people discover the Night Market and make it a weekly habit,” suggested Maresca, who has produced events in San Jose, across the U.S. and in Europe for 25+ years.
Event organizers hope that with large crowds resulting in adequate revenue and sponsorship opportunities, the Night Market can sustain itself and continue when the initial 10-week series is over.
Pobladores translates to settlers but has other interpretations, Maresca said. “I’ve always liked that part. Some regard it as ‘people’s park,’ but I like to think of it as ‘community gathering’ place. That’s why Pobladores is in the event’s name.”
Pobladores Night Market, located at the intersections of South First, Market and William streets, is free and open from 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m.
About Fil Maresca: Maresca came to San Jose in 1989 and opened Cactus Club in SoFA for six years starting in 1990. He started Filco Events in 1995 and has produced and supported event logistics in San Jose and across America for 28 years. SoFA Street Fair, which he founded, was held from 1990-99 and returned in 2014 and continues to go strong each April and September.