We were overwhelmed with the turnout at our first What the Truck?! of the season, which took place at Churchill Square last Saturday.
Although we knew we’d have record crowds given our Facebook event had swelled to over 12,000 RSVPs in the weeks leading up to May 23, 2015, the perfect weather conditions put us over the edge.
It was obvious we attracted many first-time What the Truck?! attendees that day, some shocked at the frenzy surrounding food trucks. But for the most part, we saw Edmontonians celebrating the chance to be outdoors, enjoying some of the city’s best mobile food purveyors.
Given the circumstances, I was so proud of the trucks for serving a crowd we estimated to be 8,000 strong. It was a great team effort between veteran trucks like Bully (who, for the first time ever, sold out of food) and those new to What the Truck?!.
This may have been the tipping point for food trucks in Edmonton, and to help manage future turnouts, our volunteer committee will be doing our best to promote positive experiences at our events. For instance, we’ve started to bandy about the idea of a multi-day opening for next year, given our spring gathering has consistently been the busiest day in our festival calendar.
In our fifth year, it’s already become difficult to find suitable and accessible spaces that can accommodate us. One of our guiding principles has been to highlight the roaming nature of food trucks by shifting through different areas in the city, and consequently, hopefully encouraging exploration of adjacent businesses, parks or neighbourhood features. This will become more and more challenging with the festival’s success, but I’m optimistic that we can find a way to stay true to our roots.
Thanks to those who came out to our first event – you’ve showed us that the love of food trucks is alive and well in Edmonton! If you haven’t already, mark your calendars for our next event – Brunch on the Boulevard – taking place on Sunday, June 14, from 11am-3pm at 108 Street and 99 Avenue. Hope to see you there!