Atlanta International Night Market (AINM) Review
Updated: Apr 29, 2020
For the first time ever, Southern Sweets Magazine was selected to be an official brand ambassador for a major event. And this event was BIG! The Atlanta International Night Market (AINM) is a huge, family-friendly, open-air multicultural festival, featuring 200+ independent vendors selling art, food, drinks, and featuring small-scale cultural performances, all celebrating the rich cultural diversity and heritage of Atlanta. The event represented over 70 countries and entertained more than 58,000 attendees over a three-day weekend period.
Koya and I couldn't have been more thrilled. What was even more thrilling and exciting, was that our own photographer and his family, scheduled to meet us there at the event, was due for an unexpected baby delivery of their own on AINM kickoff day! SURPRISE! So Koya and I took charge and captured the best of what we could, while indulging ourselves in the food, the music, and the experience. I brought along my family, because as early as I can, I want to bring cultural awareness and diversity to the eyes of my children. The world is so much more than just what's right in front of us or what we see on a daily basis.
When we arrived, the venue was packed. Super packed. Surprisingly, it didn't take us long to find a good parking spot, nor were we in line for a long time. I highly recommend you buy your tickets online and use the event's QR code to be scanned from your phone upon entering the venue. We were in line for no more than 3 minutes. In and out. We also arrived maybe 30 minutes after the event's scheduled start time. It started in the evening, so temperature-wise, it was nice with a little breeze.
Our first stop was a taste of Indonesia. Indomie is an Instant noddle brand from an Indonesian company. They handed out several free samples of their noodles, noodle chips, and take home items. Both were extremely tasty and I actually can't wait to try cooking the noodles at home. You could easily add in some vegetables or sausage for an even more heartier meal.
When I tell you to come to this event hungry, please do! The aromas around the venue will have your mouth watering. And seeing the plates of other attendees passing you by, will have you trying to recreate these dishes in your own home kitchen the next day.
Important tip: bring cash!! I didn't see a lot of ATM machines in the venue, but majority of the vendors there ONLY took cash. Some took a mixture of both, but we came ill-prepared and didn't want to spend extra dollars on ATM fees, so we were limited to credit card vendors. Thankfully, those vendors did not disappoint, but we sadly couldn't try as many as we wanted to.
We all got tastings of the lamb Gyro, a Greek dish made from meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie, other Mediterranean foods, and organic dairy-free gelato, which was amazing. Tasted soo good. The company is called Revolution Gelato. I love my sweets, so I was a bit skeptical of how it'd taste, but I promise they won't disappoint. Their products are organic, non-GMO, vegan, kosher pareve, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, egg-free, and ethically sourced. Tasty and healthy, win-win!
After walking around for awhile and letting the kids have some fun in the Inflatables Kid Zone, we watched several cultural dance and singing performances on the main center stage. That got everybody moving and they have jumbo screens on the side of each stage, so no one missed a good view.
There were stilt walkers, face painters, Superheros, and many others in costumes participating in the festivities. Staff and attendees alike were all friendly and jovial. I saw people dancing in the middle of the street, line dancing, strangers making room to share space at the table for all to sit and enjoy their food, smiles beaming from children eating cotton candy or gelato. Just a true, genuine, family-friendly good time where it's all about the food and music bringing everyone together as one.
I'd highly recommend anyone that's a foodie, loves music, loves to try new things, or looking for more family-friendly activities to get into, to check this event out next year. We've already discussed about going back (better prepared next time ;) and bringing even more family and friends to join in the fun.
Thank you Atlanta International Night Market for allowing Southern Sweets to participate
as brand ambassadors. Thank you for the cultural and diverse experience you brought to Atlanta. Till next time.