Vancouver’s biggest celebration of street food returns for a fourth year with more food carts and expanded entertainment programming that includes a live-music patio.
Arrival Agency, Streetfood Vancouver, and Vancity present the 4th Annual Food Cart Fest, the city’s largest gathering of street food carts. Last year, upwards of 5,000 people swarmed to Olympic Village every week to take in Vancouver’s beloved street food scene. Launching this year on Sunday, June 28, it will run for 11 consecutive Sundays until September 6.
This year the festival is adding to its programming in a major way. New at Food Cart Fest is the Sunday Local. Operating adjacent to the festival, this 400-person capacity, licensed live-music patio will feature local acoustic talent on stage and showcase the best craft beer and wine the province has to offer. Lineups will be announced by Food Cart Fest on social media.
Other activities include a giant ping pong area, which will be hosted by Ping Pong Club’s Michael Unger and feature casual play and tournaments for all skill levels. An expanded kids recreation zone, which will be presented by Brick4Kidz and features fun, educational activities with giant Lego bricks. Open-air markets produced in collaboration with the Eastside Flea and Blim. And Food Cart Fest favourites The Rad Pack DJs, who will be soundtracking the weekly event.
“We’re so excited about what Food Cart Fest has accomplished over the past four years, and we like to think of it as community block party” says Ernesto Gomez, of Arrival Agency. “The festival has really come to represent everything that is great about summers in Vancouver. Sunny weather and hanging out with your friends and family while enjoying delicious, locally made food.”
Food Cart Fest is bringing in more food trucks than ever this year. All participating trucks are members of Streetfood Vancouver, a non-profit association that represents the best and most unique food trucks in the city. Each week there will be more than 20 trucks, many of which will be launching their new summer menus. To support local growers, each food truck will have a signboard showcasing which local ingredient they have sourced for the day.
“The summer is our busiest and most important season and Food Cart Fest has become our signature event,” says Steve Ewing, president of Streetfood Vancouver. “It’s the time and place for us to showcase what we do, get out here and be with our community.”
In addition to all the food and fun, Food Cart Fest is very serious when it comes to the environmental footprint. Thanks to a sponsorship initiative from Vancity, last year the festival was able to run for 11 weeks, diverting 93% of the waste generated onsite. This zero waste initiative was achieved through a partnership with Recycling Alternatives and Green Chair as well as a policy Streetfood Vancouver has to only use compostable, recyclable packaging. Vancity has been instrumental in making this partnership happen and will continue to support it throughout the 2015 season. In addition, for 2015, Vancity’s Zero Waste Events partnership deepens impact in our community by integrating a social responsible staffing component. United We Can will be providing staffing onsite as recycling and composting ambassadors to help on the divert efforts.
*Photos by Lindsay Elliot www.lindsaysdiet.com*
“Our values-based banking model is grounded in the local economy, which means we support initiatives that help build healthy communities. Food Cart Fest is a great example of how we can all work together to support the local and organic food sector, bolster social enterprise, and bring communities together,” says Catherine Ludgate, Vancity’s Manager of Community Investment. “Since last year’s festival, we’ve hosted some workshops for food cart vendors, and we’re very excited to be providing the support and tools towards achieving a zero waste event this year.”
Starting Sunday, June 28, come experience what makes summers in Vancouver great: food, fun, and sun. Food Cart Fest is happening every Sunday until September 6. Admission is $2 or free for Vancity members or a non-perishable food donation to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. For more information, visit www.foodcartfest.com.