Food truck festival will benefit local charity

Therapeutic riding organization plans a feast around food trucks for mid-June

Kamloops Therapeutic Riding Association Executive Director Ashley Sudds poses for a photo with Rebel. (Sean Brady/The Omega)

Kamloops Therapeutic Riding Association Executive Director Ashley Sudds poses for a photo with Rebel. (Sean Brady/The Omega)

Have any dinner plans for June 17? The Kamloops Therapeutic Riding Association is hosting an event that will give you some options. The non-profit will be hosting trucks from Kamloops and beyond on its Crestline Drive property in what will be one of Kamloops’ largest food truck gatherings.

KTRA Executive Director Ashley Sudds said the festival has already attracted a lot of attention, with more than 1,000 people marked “going” on Facebook and another 3,000 interested.

“People keep inviting friends and tagging each other. I haven’t had to do anything other than create the event,” Sudds said.

As of May 22, a total of 12 food trucks had committed to attending. Sudds said they’re mostly from Kamloops and the surrounding region, but some are coming from as far away as Vancouver. Along with the trucks, Sudds also has plans for live music and entertainment for kids.

The event will serve as a fundraiser for KTRA, a registered charity that provides therapeutic horse riding to children and adults with mental and physical disabilities. Therapeutic riding can provide a calming experience in interacting with the animals, and a horse’s natural walking movement can be soothing.

The organization also has a program to support and rehabilitate youth at risk and takes referrals from the RCMP and the Ministry of Children and Families. The aim of the program is to help youth at risk rebuild trust, find support and remove fear, according to the KTRA website.

The organization, which formed in 1988, is located on Crestline Drive in Brocklehurst and has 12 horses on property leased to it by the Kamloops airport. It runs sessions in the spring and fall with help from 60 volunteers.

“We rely heavily on all of our volunteers, and without them we wouldn’t be able to provide our lessons. They provide side support if needed, they lead the horses, they get them tacked up for the lessons,” Sudds said.

With each food truck giving back a portion of its profits and with admission by donation, KTRA is hoping the event will help boost its fundraising efforts.

“I didn’t really expect the amount of interest we received, which I think is fantastic,” Sudds said.

Sudds also mentioned that there is already talk of another event in the fall, as well as this event returning next year.