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H&8th Returns Friday with Industry Flea and even more beer

H&8th crowd. Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman
H&8th crowd. Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman

If it's the last week of March, the weekend everybody's working toward includes the first H&8th Night Market of 2015.

The food-truck driven phenomenon returns for its fourth full season, spanning the stretch of North Hudson Avenue between NW 6 and NW 10 streets in Midtown. Hours are 7 to 11 p.m., but crowds typically begin to form around 6.

As usual, the event is presented by Fowler Toyota of Norman and welcomes families, including their pets, to gather and enjoy local fare from mobile kitchens and live music on the last Friday of each month from March through October. There is no cost to attend.

H&8th Night Market is a volunteer-driven not-for-profit event founded by Laura Massenat, owner of Elemental Coffee Roasters, chef Jonathon Stranger, co-owner of neighborhood restaurants Ludivine and The R&J Lounge and Supper Club, and J.D. Merryweather, co-owner of Coop Ale Works.

Last season, the event routinely drew between 20,000 and 40,000 over the course of eight events. The first H&8th was held August 26, 2011, included three food trucks and attracted approximately 200 people before being broken up by law enforcement.

"H&8th has been a wonderful way for people to experience and connect with one of Oklahoma City's most vibrant neighborhoods, which continues to grow and evolve," Massenat said. "Our volunteer team has worked hard in the off-season to fine tune the event, to keep it fresh and new for those who have been with us since the beginning, and to increase walkability and interaction with the entire district. We'd also like to encourage people to ride their bike to the event and take advantage of the free bicycle valet service hosted by DNA Racing."

Check-in for the bicycle valet is located behind Elemental Coffee Roasters at 815 N. Hudson Ave.

The opening event will include 30 food trucks from across the state, including 2 Brothers Bistro, Adolini's Pizzeria, Big Truck Tacos, Cafe Bella on Wheels, Chick N Wangs, Crepe Brewers, El Reno Original Fried Onion Burgers, Frank’s Wurst, Green & Grilled, The Hall's Pizza Kitchen, Hawk's Hotdogs, Huey's Shave Ice, Kaiteki Ramen, La Gumbo Ya Ya, Lalo’s I Love My Taco Chop & Grill, The Loaded Bowl, Masa, Mexiasian Fusion, Mutts Hot Dogs, Off The Hook Seafood & More, Pagoda Pizza, Phill Me Up Cheesesteaks, PurdyQ, Roxy’s Ice Cream Social, Smokin’ Okies, Tacos El Patron, Taste of Soul Chicken and Waffle, Taste of Soul Eggroll, The Tin Can, and Wild Al's.

Ludivine, 805 N Hudson Ave., will offer a 3-course tasting for $40 per person, call 405-778-6800 for reservations. Elemental Coffee Roasters will serve coffee, tea, epic pastries and desserts, and specialty cold drinks. The R&J Lounge and Supper Club, 320 NW 10 St., will host a Tiki Party until 2 a.m. on the patio with a live DJ and a special entr?e of smoked pork shoulder, grilled pineapple and coconut custard-filled Malasadas.

This year, the night market introduces its first Oklahoma Craft Beer Garden, featuring selections from local breweries Anthem Brewing Company and Black Mesa Brewing Company, on the hill at NW 9 Street and Hudson Avenue. COOP Ale Works will continue to offer its lineup of craft beers at the festival.

Live music begins on the main stage at 7 p.m. with Massey, a folk rock band from Oklahoma City, followed by Porch Mice, an alt-country band from Oklahoma City at 8 p.m. Synth-pop duo Quil takes the stage at 9 p.m. and Beau Jennings & The Tigers will close the show at 10 p.m.
Local comedian Cameron Buchholtz from OKC Comedy will emcee the main stage, introducing the bands and highlighting The Nature Conservancy, located near the stage at 408 NW 7th St., where attendees can register to win tickets to see upcoming performances by stand-up comics Joey Diaz (May 30) and Janeane Garofalo (July 30) at the ACM@UCO Performance Lab.

There will also be live performances at four busking zones across the event and improvised, typewriter poetry by Short Order Poems.

Pro soccer team OKC Energy FC will energize the green space at the southwest corner of NW 9 Street and Hudson Avenue from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. with an inflatable goal and a meet-and-greet with Energy FC players. Attendees will be able to purchase low-point beer by Anthem Brewing Company and general admission tickets to the home opener on April 18 at the newly renovated Taft Stadium for $10.

The H&8th Night Market kick-off will also coincide with the debut of Industry Flea, an open-air artisan market that will be open the final Friday and Saturday each month through September at 399 NW 10 Street, next to Bleu Garten food truck court.

Vendors will offer fresh flowers, clothing, handmade goods and products from local shops. Hours are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday.

The Nature Conservancy, PepsiCo and Keep Oklahoma Beautiful are teaming-up to provide recycling at H&8th. Green recycle bins will be available. The Nature Conservancy will receive financial support for its mission on a per-pound basis.

For more information about H&8th Night Market visit h8thokc.com or call 633-1703. Updates will be posted on Facebook and Twitter (#OKCNightMarket).

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Dave Cathey

The Oklahoman's food editor, Dave Cathey, keeps his eye on culinary arts and serves up news and reviews from Oklahoma’s booming food scene. Read more ›

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