Drayton’s Food-A-Palooza returns May 25

DRAYTON – Food-A-Palooza is back on May 25 for its third consecutive year at the Drayton Municipal Parkade.

The event was created by family-owned company Hometown Hot Dogs, which was originally started by Christian Giffin and his wife to create a learning opportunity and a sense of income for their 15-year-old son, Daniel.

With the search for a job becoming increasingly more difficult, Daniel’s parents came to the decision to open a mobile food business. 

“My wife and I have both been in the restaurant business previously, so we spotted this barbecue trailer and we decided to do Hometown Hot Dogs,” said Giffin.

The company operated for a few weeks in 2021 and continued growing as more of the community came together to support the Giffin family.

After networking and spreading word around the township, the idea of a food festival sprung to life.

“It was well received the first time, and even the second time and the start of the season has been excellent,” said Giffin.

It appears the month of May will continue to host Food-A-Palooza for years to come, as it is a great way to kick off the spring/summer season, with people getting out of the house and spending time with the community, stated Giffin.

The festival will include free admission and live musical entertainment by the New Nelsons, as well as four food trucks with a variety of cuisines such as gourmet hot dogs, authentic German food, Mexican tacos and authentic Jamaican food.

Another addition to Food-A-Palooza will be the crafters’ market located in front of the parking lot. 

Last year’s event was focused on displaying young entrepreneurs in the crafters’ market, helping them meet locals and gain exposure.

“I want it to become a Drayton tradition,” said Giffin. 

“We have a lot of people who have home businesses, so we welcome them to come and get out there and meet people, hopefully make some money.”

The Giffin family has made some lifelong food friends along the way with many of the vendors returning for year three.

Berlin 95 is one of the food trucks attending the event, focusing on traditional German food with a modern twist.

“It’s a perfect little rural town, it’s just such a great atmosphere,” said Christina Schal, owner of Berlin 95.

With the first year being slower because of the effects of COVID-19, and the fear of entering society again, Schal believes this year’s growth will be evident.

“I think that this year in particular you’ll see that it will really take off,” said Schal.  “It’s just a nice way to bring the community together. 

“It’s tradition.”