Despite several months of planning and re-planning, shaping and reshaping, hungry Langleyites looking for lunch got their chance to grab a meal at the Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival on Saturday.
Re-modeled as a drive-thru style event, people could cruise over to the Christian Life Assembly parking lot between 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and take part in the foodie festivities without having to leave their own car.
Festival owner/operator and Langley resident Jason Faria said he had been toying around with the format since March and wanted to understand how people would react in the new model amidst ever-changing COVID-19 restrictions.
“Calling it a challenge would be an understatement,” Faria assured, explaining that it had taken until just now for Fraser Health to sign off on the festival.
“Instead of having 25 trucks, 25 vendors, beer gardens, and entertainment, we’ve been working hard with Fraser Health to get a seal of approval to go ahead with this,” Faria explained.
Lenny’s Lemonade, Reel Mac & Cheese, Street Dogs & Burgers, and Tin Lizzy Donuts were four local vendors that took part in the festival – offering up full transactions at the window of customers.
Volunteers and sandwich board signs with directions guided guests through the parking lot to corresponding line-ups to each truck where they could collect their order.
Faria excitedly told the Langley Advance Times that cars were lined up 20 minutes before the food truck festival was even scheduled to start.
“This is the new reality of service work for small businesses,” Faria said. “These types of large events we might not see for a while so we are trying to find a new way to enjoy festival foods.”
He did say the only downside was that people couldn’t order from multiple trucks at the same time and would have to go back and join another line-up if there was no meal consensus people’s vehicles.
The Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival has occurred in various locations throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley for a few years now.
Faria said it’s always been meant as a way to support local businesses.
Kat King at Langley-based Next Gen Concessions said they were “super excited” to get going again this year.
“We are seeing a lot of creative thinking from vendors and I believe it’s been a great opportunity to innovate,” King explained. “We are glad we can get out and serve our community again and have adapted and changed our policies and procedures to ensure we can do so in a safe manner for everyone.”
“Normally these businesses would be on the road out in Alberta or Ontario at this time,” Faria said. “But with the more refined drive-thru style, there is a real local culture to it this way.”
June 14 and 28, the Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival will be at Tradex (1190 Cornell St.) in Abbotsford.
People can find out more by visiting https://greatervanfoodtruckfest.com.
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