PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- This weekend, a massive food festival unlike any other in the state will take over parts of downtown Phoenix.

Think of the crazy food you have seen on the Travel Channel or on food shows. The PHX Night Market will have all of that and a bit of history.

[VIDEO: PHX Night Market takes over downtown this weekend]

“Our vendors aren’t only showing their food, but performing their food and bringing the best of the best,” organizer Cindy Louie said.

Louie describes the night market as a 'food concert.' A display of food, arts and urban grit that is normally saved for cities like Los Angeles or New York.

This year the market pops up at a location that pays homage to a piece of seemingly forgotten Phoenix history.

“It was Chinese immigrants, Filipino immigrants, Latin American immigrants, everything you can think of,” Louie said, talking about the small Chinatown that once sat where the Phoenix Suns' arena now stands.

As early as the late 1800s, mainly young, Chinese men were running restaurants, laundry and herb shops.

Not a lot people alive today remember visiting Phoenix's Chinatown.

Lucy Yuen does. She lives in Gilbert now and was a teacher for most of her life.

“This is a really old one, I wasn't even born yet,” she said thumbing through old photos of her family in central Phoenix.

Her father arrived in Phoenix in the early 1900s where he owned a grocery store. The kids would help out at the store and sometimes head into Chinatown with their father.

“We used to go down there periodically,” Yuen said. “If they were roasting some pork we always got to sample that when it was nice and hot.”

The small area was filed with food, local businesses and growing families. Eventually the Asian population spread throughout the city and Chinatown was no more.

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A lot has changed since the small Chinese groceries, but Cindy Louie said the night market is bringing back that punch of culture and commence where it used to live.

“We’re simply rekindling that fire,” she said. “Continuing that spirit that already existed.”

The PHX Night Market is Saturday, April 20 and 21. Check out their website for more information and their Instagram to see some of the food they will feature.

An Arizona native, born and raised in Mesa, and graduate of Arizona State University, meteorologist Ian Schwartz brings you the forecast weekday mornings on CBS 5 This Morning.
 
 


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