A few clouds did not put a damper on a fun-filled, successful weekend at the LIC Flea & Food celebrating Japanese culture.
On October 5 and 6, LIC Flea and vendor Oconomi hosted the very first Weekend of Japanese culture at LIC Flea & Food, which brought in regular visitors and brand new faces.
“It was fantastic,” said Kazuko Nagao, owner of Oconomi.
“We think we brought a new audience that had never been to LIC Flea and regulars also enjoyed something new.”
Nagao also said she saw a large presence of the Queens Japanese community at LIC Flea for the weekend celebration.
“We got a lot of foot traffic because of the Japanese shows, so I’d say it was a good weekend,” said Eric Henshaw with LIC Vendor Khao Man Gai, which sold out on Saturday.
Oconomi, which regularly serves Oconomiyaki, Japanese vegetable pancakes, extended its menu to include stir fried noodles known as Yakisoba, Japanese curry, rice balls and “creative” sushi.
The celebration also featured separate booths dedicated to the Japanese culture where LIC Flea visitors tried their hand at Japanese calligraphy with Masako Inyo, who taught participants how to hold a brush. In another booth guests turned paper into art at an origami station. Visitors were able to take home whatever they finished.
“The Flea is always a good time,” said LIC Flea visitor Fallon Gardener. “I love everything about Asian cultures.”
Along with the delicious Japanese treats and activities, guests also enjoyed three unique performers. Female geisha dancers in costume performed in a group called Salme and Japanese pop singer Reni Reni also made an appearance. The final performers combined music with audience interaction as the Poku Poku Boys played Koto, a traditional string instrument, while translating names from English to Japanese in calligraphy.
“I really enjoyed the singing and dancing,” said visitor Maria Walker. “Things like this are why the Flea never gets boring for me.”
Along with taking visitors on a trip to Japan and celebrating the Japanese culture, and allowing children to pick their own pumpkins at the pumpkin patch, LIC Flea announced that a holiday market will be opening in December.
The market will be located at the same address but within the warehouse next to the LIC Flea lot. The holiday market will be open for the three weekends leading up to Christmas.
There are still three weeks left to enjoy LIC Flea & Food so come down to 5-25 46th Avenue and see what other surprises are coming your way.
- Almost a ‘Flea’ sweep at the Vendy Awards
- LIC Flea vendors up for Vendy Awards
- LIC Flea’s first Ping Pong Open a success