Festival-goers hope Taste of Edmonton will stay at Capital Plaza

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WATCH ABOVE: After two years at Capital Plaza, Taste of Edmonton festival goers are hoping that the festival stays at Capital Plaza and doesn't return to Churchill Square. Sarah Komadina has more – Jul 28, 2019

Taste of Edmonton has been a staple in the city for 35 years — many of those spent at Churchill Square, but due to construction in the area, the festival was forced to move to Capital Plaza.

After two years at the new location, they are being welcomed back to Churchill Square but many now have a taste for the plaza.

READ MORE: Taste of Edmonton hopes to reduce waits and waste with mobile tickets

“I would say the [legislature] ground is great,” Karen Olson said. “I think, for us, it’s more accessible because I don’t like going downtown.”

“I like the layout of how things were in Churchill Square but I like this location better,” Ben MacKay said. “It’s more open, there’s a nice view, there isn’t like three roads closed off at any given time.”

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“I would put my money on this place.”

Paul Lucas, Taste of Edmonton general manager, said there is less of a lunchtime crowd because of the new location but the trade-off is that it’s less congested.

On a sunny day, the festival can see more than 38,000 people.

READ MORE: Taste of Edmonton to hold 2018 festival at Federal Building plaza

“We all love this venue. It needs a little bit more work to make it perfect but we’re probably 95 per cent there,” Lucas said.

It is also a cost issue. It is more than $170,000 extra to have the event at Capital Plaza. Taste of Edmonton has received help from the city and the Edmonton Arts Council, and would continue to need financial support if they stay.

“Financially, Churchill Square [is better] but from a general public’s perspective and from my own personal perspective, I love it [at Capital Plaza],” Lucas said.
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For now, there is no firm answer where the festival will go but Lucas said they are in negotiations and should know where the 2020 Taste of Edmonton will be later this summer.