PARKit & Party!

In the past few years Surrey has been transforming itself and consistently raising the bar.  The Central City area, in particular the main Plaza and Holland Park, have been host to a range of  family friendly events that have resulted in an undeniable shift in the perception of the the city. By bringing the community together in celebration of anything from sports and music, to culture and the seasons, Surrey has managed to highlight the best it has to offer and continues to surprise.

Since April 17th, a small chunk of the car lot at Central City has been transformed through a partnership between the Parks, Civic beautification and Community planning sections of the City of Surrey.  Set up under the concrete shade of the Expo line, PARKit is the first (of hopefully many) temporary “pop-up” parks that provides greenspace, buskers and a variety of ethnic food carts for the enjoyment of kids and adults of all ages.

The Guanaco truck set up right now has Salvadoran food that makes you second guess the simplicity of salt and pepper. With a marinated pork that will have vegetarians salivating…and a  tomato salsa to shame Mexico…( you get my point ) this food truck is a unique opportunity to get away from the everyday. The Youtube video (below) of Mama Anna preparing the Pupusas is very cute…if you speak a bit of Spanish you will likely enjoy the background music accompanying the preparation of this  treat. Pupusas are a traditional Salvadoran dish, sort of like a closed off quesadilla. It’s a corn tortilla filled with pork, beans, cheese or a combination of all…very satisfying and accompanied with some deep fried cassava it is a flavour explosion.

If you  have room and a sweet tooth after, fried plantains and chocolate sauce. I think I need not say more….but if you are hesitant to take my word for it, check them out on Twitter and see for yourself! We all know pictures speak a thousand words and there are no shortage of others who agree with me.

If you cant make it out to Surrey in the next few days, starting May 1st the Guanacos food truck will be parked at Seymour and W. Georgia downtown so I urge you to partake in some exploratory consumption!

                                      Photo credit: Amy Reid, Surrey NOW

Even  better is the possibility that the food carts may just end up being a permanent fixture once the pop-up park has left…..  the City of Surrey has provided a Question and Comments section where you can do just that, or even make a request to have a PARKit site near you!

If there is one thing I feel strongly about in what I have seen so far from this petit paradise: it’s creating a buzz…and a positive one. People are slowing down, smiling & smelling the proverbial flowers. Who ever would have thought a few benches, a colorful food truck and a patch of grass could have such a significant effect on a community?

This weekend, Surrey will again host the Party for the Planet , BC’s largest Earth Day celebration. Central City Plaza will be THE place to be  on April 27th and 28th and I have no doubt this world class festival will be just as impressive as the other events hosted by Mayor Watts and her group at City Hall.  Surrey will take another opportunity to  shine  by showcasing a variety of sustainability initiatives and providing education in a fun way.

Community engagement is paramount for successful events and that recognition has been consistently clear.  Having something for everyone is characteristic of all Surrey has to offer….hopefully see you on the weekend!


Leave a Reply