It’s that time of year in Edmonton – because our summer is so short and precious, every weekend is an opportunity to take in something outdoors. Next weekend, the place to do this will be downtown, with numerous events and three festivals colliding on the same day.
Downtown Edmonton Community League is kicking things off at 8:30-11am, with its annual Pancake Breakfast (all proceeds benefit charity). The 4th Street Promenade summer mainstay, the City Market, will be running from 9am-3pm. Midway through at noon, the Pride Parade will wind down 102 Avenue from 108 Street all the way to Churchill Square. And to round off the night from 5-11pm, the 4th Annual Al Fresco Block Party will take over the Promenade from Jasper to 103 Avenue. Expect a wine and spirits tasting tent, extended patios, a great musical line-up, fashion show, and a kids zone.
One of the extended patios in 2011
Mack and I are two of the members of this year’s Al Fresco organizing committee. After attending the festival in 2009, 2010 and 2011, we thought it was time to give back, especially because we now live on the street and love events where neighbours can get to know one another. On the committee, Mack represents our condo (The Century), while I represent the Downtown Edmonton Community League (of which I volunteer as a Board member).
Volunteering for the 2011 DECL Pancake Breakfast
That said, we’re also involved in another capacity – Al Fresco was looking for a different way to feed hungry festival goers. Last year, the food component was expanded by hosting several downtown restaurants on the street – you may remember Tres Carnales in particular, because their Rice Howard Way digs weren’t yet complete at the time.
Tacos to the people!
Given the rise of food trucks in Edmonton over the last year, the committee thought they would be a wonderful addition to the festival. Mack and I might be a bit biased, but we agreed with them.
As a result, our first What the Truck?! extravaganza this year will be taking place in conjunction with the Al Fresco Block Party.
What: What the Truck?! Edmonton’s Food Truck Extravaganza
Where: 104 Street, north of 102 Avenue
When: June 9, 2012
Time: 5-11 p.m.
This will be the largest What the Truck?! we’ve ever organized, with ten of Edmonton’s premier food trucks ready to show the city why street cuisine is here to stay:
- Battista’s Calzones
- Carnival Cravings
- Eva Sweet
- Fat Franks
- The Lingnan
- Molly’s Eats
- Smokehouse BBQ
- The Act
Best of all – the trucks will all be donating a portion of the evening’s proceeds to Zebra Child Protection Centre, Al Fresco’s charity of choice this year. A non-profit, community-based organization that improves the lives of children who have suffered abuse, the Zebra Centre is able to provide children and their families with essential social, medical and mental health services and supports.
We will be updating the website with menus on Tuesday – so check back then to whet your appetite. Hope to see you there!