What The Truck?! Long Lines, Good Food | By Joel Verhagen

What The Truck?!, started in 2011 by Mack Male and Sharon Yeo, is an event that works to highlight the best in Edmonton’s food truck cuisine. Since the first event, What The Truck?! has grown into one of Edmonton’s most popular outdoor events, expanding from a handful of trucks to 25. People flock to Edmonton’s core to experience new foods and are more than willing to endure the long lines (some exceeding an hour wait time) for the high quality, locally made goods.

This year’s event took place at Churchill Square, utilizing the entire area to accommodate 25 trucks. The growth has been quick and steady, with the event expanding with each iteration. Mack Male estimates approximately 10,000 people attended, similar in number to our new premier’s swearing-in at the Legislature the very next day. Edmonton has always been a hotbed for new ideas with a community ready to embrace the innovative and creative initiatives to come out of this city.

whatthetruck-4webMack and Sharon started this event with the intention of having a positive impact on local, small businesses. While people were showing their strong support for the food truck scene, I walked around the core and couldn’t get into any of the surrounding restaurants and bars, likely due to the overflow traffic from Churchill Square. Needless to say, What The Truck?! has had a strong impact with promoting small businesses to the city and will continue to hold importance as it grows.

I asked Mack Male what’s next for What The Truck and how they will handle the growth. More trucks, longer hours, and even expanding to a two-day event are all ideas that are on the radar. But Mack emphasizes that the lines will simply never go away. Only in Edmonton, a city that embraces the things we enjoy in our community with so much passion and loyalty, could this be possible.

Stay tuned for more What The Truck?! on July 10th from 5pm to 10pm, at Northlands Park!


Photography courtesy of Shane Hauser

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