Local food truck vendors will be lined up along 11th Street East near Memorial Square on Saturday to show appreciation for their patrons.
The event is one of several scheduled for the downtown area on the first weekend of Culture Days. Organizer Kevin Sawicki said it’s their way of saying thanks for the support after a difficult year.
“It’s been a struggle,” Sawicki said during a phone interview on Friday. “I’ve heard complaints—not from the food trucks necessarily in PA, but more so in other cities—that the prices are high just to eat. We’ve got to raise our prices too in order to make a go of it, so it’s been tough, but I do notice there is a good rebound.”
Sawicki said food truck vendors are dealing with everything from rising fuel costs to more expensive ingredients. The meat he makes his sausages out of doubled in price this year, and he said it’s difficult to avoid passing some of that cost on to the consumer.
For that reason, he’s grateful for the group of customers who keep showing up to support his food truck, even though it’s not as cheap as it used to be.
“I’ve got a loyal base and they keep continuing to support me,” Sawicki said. “They understand that costs are going up, so it’s pretty cool.”
Food truck vendors faced an additional hurdle during the COVID-19 lockdowns when many of the public events and festivals they setup at were postponed or outright cancelled.
Sawicki said they’re hoping to use Saturday’s event to connect customers with their websites and Facebook pages so they don’t have to wait for special events to find their favourite vendor.
Despite the challenges of the past two years, Sawicki is optimistic the food truck industry will rebound.
“People have been looking for different things to do, and now that things are opening up, there’s a lot of excitement and buzz about it,” he explained.
At least five food trucks are scheduled to show up for Saturday’s event, although a sixth might be on the way.
The trucks will have specials available during the day. For Sawicki, that’s a Ukrainian Breakfast Poutine at a cost of $10.
Food Truck Appreciation Day isn’t the only event scheduled for the downtown area. The Prince Albert Farmer’s Market will also be available, and businesses downtown are hosting a Fall Sidewalk Sale from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Live music will also be available in Memorial Square as part of Culture Days. Local musicians Melissa Cournoyer and Lauren Lohneis will perform, as will musical groups Misdeal, Spirit Strong Singers, The Shag Harbour Band, and The O’Krauts. The music starts at 10:30 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m.