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Saskatoon locally-owned restaurants want to keep Taste of Saskatchewan

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WATCH ABOVE: A long-running food festival in Saskatoon may not be back next summer – Nov 27, 2019

It’s disappointing news to a number of local restaurants and cafes, but a Taste of Saskatchewan might not take place in 2020.

At city council budget deliberations this week, the organization that hosts the event said it may not return because of little-to-no-profits for vendors as well as the state of the grass in Kiwanis Park once the event is over.

READ MORE: Taste of Saskatchewan in jeopardy, city council votes ahead organics program

Global News reached out to several Saskatoon vendors from the 2019 festival.

The five who responded said they made a profit.

Living Sky Café had a stall set up at the event for the first time last July.

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The owners opened their restaurant in May 2018 and said they saw an increase in business in the three months following the festival.

“We get through Christmas party season and that’s very exciting for us. And then the next thing we really look forward to is Taste of Saskatchewan,” said co-owner Taylor Morrison.

“Being a part of that this past year was huge. For us to potentially not be able to be a part of it this coming year is something that we don’t even want to think about.”

Morrison was born and raised in Saskatoon. She added making it to the festival was a milestone for her business, having attended so many times in the past.

Global News reached out to SaskTel Centre, who runs the event, for clarification about vendor’s profits and the issue with the park grass, but they didn’t respond.

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Homestead Ice Cream said it’s confused about the grass issue and said a park is meant to be used while noting the other summer events that also take place in Kiwanis Park like Pets in the Park, Rock the River and the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival.

Taste Restaurant Group, which operates Picaro and Una, said it is considering whether it will participate in next year’s event adding that it depends which restaurants plan on setting up booths if the event was to move forward.

It added it views the festival as a chance for people to learn more about Saskatoon restaurants rather than the franchise restaurants which were present this year.

READ MORE: Taste of Saskatchewan food festival sees record attendance

Big Wing’s said its restaurants saw some additional foot traffic after the festival and would set up a booth if the event was held in 2020 saying it is an event their staff likes to participate in.

All the vendors agreed that poor weather during the week made this year’s event slightly less profitable than previous ones.