EDMONTON -- A summer tradition since 1984 is coming back.

Taste of Edmonton, a way for communities to come together and share their culinary flair with the city, was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

According to Taste of Edmonton’s website, the festival has grown into the largest outdoor food festival and concert series in Canada.

Taste of Edmonton

The festival is a big draw for the city and in turn brings in a big chunk of revenue. 

In 2018, Taste of Edmonton generated 9.6 million in economic activity in Alberta and 8.4 million in Edmonton, its website said.

This year’s event will look different from years past with social responsibility the top priority for organizers.

“This year we’re going to have 34 restaurant partners,” Donovan Vienneau, General Manager of Events Edmonton said.

“Social distance is top of mind for us. We want it to be a safe and healthy festival for all patrons.”

There will be a six-foot gap between each restaurant and the food trucks will be appropriately spaced to accommodate restrictions based on their length, Vienneau told CTV News Edmonton.

Recently, Vienneau said they put the call out on social media for more food trucks. There are currently five open spots to fill of the 12 available.

Taste of Edmonton

“We typically have a waiting list,” Vienneau said. “But, it’s a good thing. We listen to Edmontonians, we listen to the people that come to the festival. They’re always looking for new flavours and new tastes.”

“We have 25 per cent new restaurants coming into Taste of Edmonton,” he added.

Another change visitors can expect this year is the festival location. This summer Taste of Edmonton will move back to Sir Winston Churchill Square. 

“It’s almost a going home situation,” Vienneau said.

Due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, Vienneau is aware that the festival could be cancelled.

“It would be devastating,” he commented. “We’re cautiously optimistic. We’re going into this eyes wide-open.”

Taste of Edmonton will go ahead July 22 to Aug. 1.