Matthew Lang eats a corndog while his brother Michael looks on at Food Truck Fridays in the Carnival Cinemas parking lot in Red Deer this past year. File photo by ADVOCATE staff

Food Truck Fridays returning, Carnival Vendor Market opening this week in Red Deer

Both weekly events begin this Friday at Carnival Cinemas

Red Deerians looking to end their work week with lunch in the sun have reason to celebrate.

Food Truck Fridays returns to the Carnival Cinemas parking lot in downtown Red Deer from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Friday until the end of August.

“This year … we’re addressing a few things our guests asked for last year,” said Jonathan Strome, a Food Truck Fridays organizer.

“We want to have lots of tables and chairs for people, and we’ll have better access to recycling and garbage disposal.”

There will typically be seven or eight trucks at the weekly event, said Strome.

“Every week will feature different guest trucks, so that will give opportunities for new trucks or trucks we haven’t had before to come in and showcase what they’re up to,” he said.

Strome said the Carnival Cinemas location is easily accessible and has plenty of parking.

“We had a lot of first time event supporters last year,” said Strome.

“Our big goal is to keep (Food Truck Fridays) sustainable throughout the whole summer. People always get really excited in the spring for the food trucks to open, but we want to make it an event that keeps people coming back all summer long.”

Food trucks won’t be the only thing filling up the Carnival Cinemas parking lot on Fridays.

The first-ever Carnival Vendor Market begins this Friday as well. The free event, which runs from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. until Oct. 11, raises money for Tutor Angels, which helps students learn.

Tutor Angels owner Tricia Pope said she wants “families to come out and have a good time” at the event.

“Our motto is, Eat. Play. Shop. We have food trucks, we have floor hockey, a Lego table, a bouncy castle. We want to be a family-friendly market, not just an adult market,” Pope said, adding there is a fee for the bouncy castle, which may not be at the event every week.

About 20 vendors are scheduled to participate Friday – people can shop for housewares, jewelry, clothing and more. Pope said she hopes to have 100 vendors by the end of the season.

Money raised will support the cost of staff training and provide subsidies for families who need reduced fees for services at Tutor Angels.

“There are a lot of families living with low income or in poverty,” said Pope.

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