You could make the case that Brandonites have been perhaps insulated from realities in larger centres that lead to the coupling of a parking charge with anything from large scale community events to farmers markets.
That will change ever so slightly in just under two weeks time when popular local outdoor smorgasbord Food Truck Warz kicks off its first year at the Riverbank Discovery Centre. Organizers shared recently that there will be a small daily charge of $2 per vehicle for those parking on-site at the Discovery Centre for the otherwise-free event. All proceeds from parking after expenses associated with operating the parking service will go to the local John Howard Society in support of their efforts as a non-profit in the community, specifically their Anger Management and Building Healthy Relationship initiatives.
According to a representative of the local John Howard Society that will be overseeing parking services, the end result will be a more safe and organized parking experience for attendees and will account for approximately 128 hours of volunteer/staff time to make it happen by the time all’s said and done.
Though other events recently held at the Riverbank such as Canada Day (pictured) and Childrens Country Fair had offered no-charge on-site parking, organizers of local Canada Day festivities had recommended the use of public transport where possible amidst large expected crowds. June’s National Indigenous Peoples Day went as far as running a regular shuttle to and from the Riverbank for attendees of that day’s celebration.
As is the case with other events at the Riverbank, folks aren’t required to park a vehicle to attend Food Truck Warz and may make use of public transport or their own two feet as they see fit. Admittedly under that circumstance I’d personally be voluntarily making a donation to John Howard for their efforts both in parking and in the community.
Paying to park in general is anything but a new idea in the city, be it downtown parking metres, the $2 fee charged at the Town Centre or the Brandon Regional Health Centre. Depending on how one views general admission charges at other local events they may also view parking charges as being absorbed in costs being paid.
Though I can’t personally see anyone avoid attending a great and otherwise free event for such a small parking fee, it will be interesting to see what if any behavioural changes and choices result in a market not particularly accustomed to paid parking at no-charge admission events.
Food Truck Warz runs from September 13-15 at the Riverbank Discovery Centre. 26 food trucks are scheduled to attend, supported by a Select Shows Carnival/Midway, Farmery Beer Garden and Apple and Pine Market.