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No summer for my business says Calgary food vendor

Last Updated Apr 27, 2020 at 12:48 pm MST

CALGARY (CityNews) – Around this time of year, Scott Mansfield is getting his hot dog carts ready for festival season.
It’s something he’s done for the last 12 summers.

“During the summer they are all on the go. They are everywhere,” said the owner of the Dogfather carts.

News of the Calgary Stampede’s cancellation now has him questioning if it’s even worth opening this year.

He usually has a staff of 40 to 50 people, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic he’s had to lay them off.

The Stampede alone makes up 45 per cent of the company’s revenue, the rest coming from festivals and events that take place from June to September.

But on Friday the City of Calgary announced the suspension of all mass gathering until the end of August.

RELATED: Public events in Calgary cancelled until August 31

This after Alberta’s chief medical officer announced no large public gatherings of more than 15 people through the summer.

“We have seen that festivals and large gatherings hold the potential to be super-spreader events where one sick person can expose many others to the virus, spreading COVID-19 across households, communities and even large geographical distances,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw.

Last year, the Dogfather carts would be spotted at weddings, local festivals, in front of nightclubs and bars.

Now the events he’s booked well into September don’t look too optimistic saying it’s likely he won’t open the carts this year.

“I won’t see all those regular Dogfather patrons line up, said Mansfield. “It’s going to be a very weird feeling.”

Mansfield is, however, keeping positive about a few things.

“Reinventing the hot dog ideas, more menu ideas and redo the carts because they’re always out. I guess the carts are going to look nice and rewrapped and re-menued for next year.”