Rocky Point welcomes food carts this summer

Street food vendors will be able to apply for a spot at Rocky Point during the summer concert series. - FILE PHOTO/TRI-CITY NEWS
Street food vendors will be able to apply for a spot at Rocky Point during the summer concert series.
— image credit: FILE PHOTO/TRI-CITY NEWS

Rocky Point Park’s annual summer concert series will be welcoming a new guest this year: street food.

The invite will go out to local eateries and the established network of Vancouver food cart vendors to apply for a spot at the concert series, which runs Sundays from July 8 to Aug. 26.

That means Rocky Point Park visitors could be noshing on everything from pitas to tacos while catching a free outdoor concert by Big City Soul, Incognito, Groove n Tonic or Vancouver favourites such as Brickhouse.

Local businesses will also get a kick at the street food can, with Tri-City restaurants and other food vendors given priority in the selection process.

But not all council members were so enthused about food carts.

“I don’t want to see a huge influx of styrofoam in the park,” Coun. Rick Glumac said during Tuesday’s meeting; he suggested an amendment that would deny permits to any vendors using styrofoam containers.

Coun. Diana Dilworth noted Vancouver has already established a stringent review that includes sustainability principles, adding several cities now offer styrofoam recycling.

And Mayor Mike Clay noted, “We have vendors in the park now that aren’t being held to this standard.” He also questioned the logic of an additional amendment from Coun. Zöe Royer that would require vendors to offer compostable cutlery and cartons, noting the park does not offer separated garbage cans for food waste, garbage and recyclables.

Both amendments were defeated and Glumac and Royer voted against invited food carts.

Glumac asked whether the city could implement a separated waste-stream pilot project in Rocky Point by the summer. A similar project at Swangard Stadium saw a 70% waste diversion, Glumac noted, but Dilworth said that was likely because city staff were positioned at each garbage can to direct people on how to separate their garbage.

“This is getting way too complicated,” Clay said at the end of the lengthy discussion. He suggested if staff can pull together such a pilot project in time, volunteers from the youth focus committee could be drafted to staff the garbage cans.

“But most of these vendors know how to do this environmental stuff and most have next to no waste stream,” Clay said. “I think we’re drastically over-thinking this, and when we find the right vendor, this will be obvious.”


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