Trucks line up for food during a drive-thru event on the PNE grounds last May. (Photo: Darryl Dyck/CP)

Trucks line up for food during a drive-thru event on the PNE grounds last May. (Photo: Darryl Dyck/CP)

Drive-thru food truck fest coming to North Surrey Secondary lot

School a ‘great location – high traffic, very visible, and a very large parking lot’

North Surrey Secondary’s parking lot will be a stop for Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival’s drive-thru event on the weekend of May 22-23, daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

It’s a new location for planners of the car-service attraction, which has toured to Cloverdale, Abbotsford, Chilliwack and other areas over the past couple of months.

“We’re looking to broaden our horizons in terms of where we go, where we can set up,” said festival organizer Jason Faria. “We spend a lot of time trying to find locations that will allow us, because most places aren’t taking reserverations right now, due to COVID. Most school districts, private properties, casinos – you name it, they’re not taking any bookings even if they’re not using the lot.”

So Faria “dug around” and settled on North Surrey Secondary’s parking lot, at 15945 96th Ave.

“We contacted the school, they told us to get hold of the school board, and they were very receptive,” he explained. “North Surrey is somewhere we normally wouldn’t get to target, and a lot of people there had never even really heard of us. We spoke to a church in Fleetwood as well, but we think North Surrey is a great location – high traffic, very visible, and a very large parking lot.”

• RELATED STORY, from March 30: Food trucker motors on with drive-thru festival this spring.

Trucks scheduled for Saturday (May 22) are Juicy Green & Fusion Icy, Little oOtie’s Mini Donuts, Saltspring Noodle Bar, Slavic Rolls, Street Dogs – Gourmet Hotdogs & Fries & Smashburgers, Melt Town Grilled Cheese, The Truckin’ BBQ and Wings Outdoor Grill Vancouver.

The Sunday (May 23) options include Big Red’s Poutine, Next Gen. Concessions’ Corndog King, Dim Sum Express, G’s Donairs Irvine, Lenny’s Lemons, REEL Mac And Cheese, Steve-O’s Fried Chicken, Tacofino Vancouver and Tin Lizzy Concessions’ Mini Donuts.

Admission is free for vehicles, and food prices vary.

Faria hopes to host drive-thru food festivals through the spring and summer months, and possibly more.

“We’d love to, and we’re looking to see what the restrictions will be over the next couple of months, after May long weekend,” he said. “Obviously there’s a bit of boon for us with restaurants being closed right now, so we want to see how that goes, too.… We’re hoping that we can open up with other types of events in the summer, not just drive-thrus.”

The cancellation of this summer’s PNE Fair was a huge hit for food truck operators.

”That was not what we were hoping for,” Faria said. “We think it’s a little pre-emptive to pull the plug this early, but there’s more at play here, with them at risk of having no money to plan an event in August, and to continue planning with the uncertainty is what’s challenging for them and, you know, not having the benefits and wage subsidies. I think had they been able to access that, I think we would still be planning for the PNE, with a reduced capacity, which is what they were planning for anyhow.”

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