Food Truck Festival raises questions for Kamloops Council

By Adam Donnelly
June 21, 2016 - 5:21pm Updated: June 23, 2016 - 1:11am

KAMLOOPS — It's safe to say the Kamloops Therapeutic Riding Association's first ever Food Truck Festival was an overwhelming success. As many as 3000 people attended the event, which saw around a dozen mobile food vendors come out to feed the masses. The event raises some questions about the city's restrictive food truck policies, and whether council could do more to accommodate these small businesses.

When the Kamloops Therapeutic Riding Association first posted their Food Truck Festival fundraiser on Facebook, they didn't expect the response they received.

WATCH: Full report by Adam Donnelly

“It was great,” KTRA Executive Director Ashley Sudds told CFJC Today. “You don’t know how many people are actually going to come, and so I was overwhelmed, but in a positive way.”

By the time the dust settled, organizers estimate between three to five thousand people attended the event on Friday night.

Mikey Wheeler-Johnson, co-owner of Eats Amore food truck was one of the vendors who attended the even the said they were ready for the big crowds, but an event that size can still be challenging.

“We were ready to go for [the Festival], but we didn’t expect that intensity, for that long,” Wheeler-Johnson said. “It was a pleasant surprise.”

Wheeler-Johnson hopes the City of Kamloops took notice the crowds the festival drew, and considers some changes to their food truck policies.

“I think it’s a good wake-up call for the City’s planning department, and city councillors,” Wheeler-Johnson told CFJC Today. “Look how successful it was. I think the people of Kamloops have spoken and they’re on the side of the food trucks.”

Councillor Donovan Cavers was at the event, and saw how well attended it was. Cavers used to own a mobile catering company, and knows the challenges those businesses face. He says while all stakeholders should have their voices heard on the subject of food trucks, an event like the festival is a statement from the public.

“It’s obviously something most communities have gotten on board with,” said Cavers. “The Food Truck Festival was an indication that people in Kamloops are into food trucks.”

The real winner in all this was the Therapeutic Riding Association. They've raised nearly $9000 so far, and are hopeful they break the $10,000 mark.

SOUND OFF: Did you attend the festival? Let us know your experience in the comment section below

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