June 16th, 2024

Foodie Fest returns to downtown

By Justin Sibbet - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on May 29, 2024.

Herald photo by Justin Sibbet Residents gather around the Crepe Affair food truck during Foodie Fest at Galt Gardens on Tuesday afternoon.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDjsibbet@lethbridgeherald.com

An annual food festival has once again hit the streets of Lethbridge, with local business owners eager to show off their products.

Foodie Fest is a multi-day event held by the Downtown BRZ. It brings food trucks, street parties, beer tours and much more to the downtown core.

First introduced three years ago, Foodie Fest has become a staple of springtime for many in the community. Despite having only raised their awning last year, Mama Lo’s owner, Laura Simpson says the festival provides a great opportunity to network with customers.

“It’s just nice to get out and meet the community,” said Simpson. “That’s what’s great about (Foodie Fest).”

To help ensure a smooth first day, Mother Nature certainly upheld her end of the bargain, providing sunny weather for the hundreds of residents who flooded Galt Gardens on Tuesday to check out the various food trucks. This, or perhaps the true Canadian spirit, has led Simpson to say how positive the mood was within the large crowd.

“Everybody’s so friendly and patient,” said Simpson. “If something happens and we get behind, everyone seems to be pretty good at understanding.”

Payton Grindle, Downton BRZ ambassador, says the event has changed this year, creating a more focused approach.

“It used to be the last Tuesday of every month in the summer,” said Grindle. “We’re just doing the one Foodie Fest this year, but it’s expanded into a week-long festivity.”

She says the new approach to the event will enable businesses in the downtown core to see additional foot traffic over the next few days.

“I love that we have put this on a Tuesday because it’s not a day you would normally see as many people around.”

Furthermore, Grindle says the exposure should also lead to additional traffic, even after Foodie Fest wraps up at the end of this weekend.

“I’ve met so many people that say they’ve never seen these places… You’re able to discover a whole bunch of different shops and restaurants that you might have never known were there before.”

Simpson says it’s more than worth attending the event as a business, even though she and her husband, Hugh, both work full-time. She says they may even operate their mobile restaurant into the winter this year if they are able to.

“We’ll just have to see how things go.”

Meanwhile, Grindle says the Downtown BRZ is eager to continue with the festivities.

“We’re just excited to have a week full of food and goodness and lots of people hanging out,” said Grindle.

For a full list of events happening at Foodie Fest this year, visit: downtownlethbridge.com.

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