You can hardly throw a penny without hitting a vendor on the streets of NYC. Food trucks are as much a part of New York City as are incredible landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. That being said, it’s time to celebrate these hard-working folk with the 13th annual Vendy Awards! Don’t know what they are? Here are the basics.
The Vendy Awards are the highest honors won through a street food competition that celebrates the very best of the best of street vendor food and food trucks. Started in 2005 from a small garage in the East Village, the festival has now moved not only to some of New York City’s largest places, but spread to other cities throughout the US including Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago. The Vendy Awards is also the primary fundraiser for the Street Vendor Project, a nonprofit organization that stands up for the rights of all vendors.
In New York City alone, you will find more than 10,000 street vendors selling everything from hot dogs and pretzels to books and art. These small business owners struggle to make ends meet, usually working incredibly long hours – even in harsh weather. Most of these vendors are also immigrants and people of color who often face legislative and personal discrimination. In recent years, many vendors have been denied vending licenses and received high tickets of up to $1,000 for minor violations such as being too close to a crosswalk — far more weighty fines than large businesses are required to pay for such violations. The Street Vendor Project seeks to give these vendors a face and voice as they highlight all the good that Vendors do through activities and events such as the Vendy Awards.
How Do I Participate?
You can make a public nomination to help select the food vendors who will compete against each other via an online nomination process. Nominate your favorite street vendor, and/or purchase your tickets to sample all of the nominee vendors’ food on Saturday, September 16, 2017, from 12:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Governors Island. The winners will be chosen by the event ticket holders along with a panel of judges featuring celebrity chefs, television personalities, and city officials. You can also become a supporter of the Street Vendor Project yourself. Your donation is tax deductible and goes directly towards helping the organization and its many vendor members.
For more information on the Vendy Awards and other exciting events in NYC, all you have to do is ask the helpful concierge at The Time NYACK hotel. We hope you’ll choose our hotel during your visit to New York City area!