Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Footscray needs you!

My babysitter is smiling.  Why?  She is about to cash in the next fortnight, when the Food and Wine Festival comes to town!  For the last three years, Footscray has started to have a real presence in the Festival.  Our signature event is the Rickshaw Run, a madcap dash around five or so of Footscray's best Vietnamese restaurants to sample their house specialties, with music and street food along the way.


I love this event because it was created by the community.  The Footscray Traders Association run the event, and it's powered wholly by volunteers.  And that's where you come in!


There are three ways you can get involved.  Whatever the role, each volunteer gets a free meal and a warm fuzzy feeling about being the face of Footscray, one of Melbourne's most misunderstood yet actually marvellous suburbs (yep, I know I'm preaching to the choir).  The event is fully sold out, so people are super keen to learn more about the much-maligned west.  Let's show them how awesome we are!  Do three sessions and get a free T-shirt, and I promise I'll high-five anyone I see wearing one if I see you round the markets!

The jobs up for grabs are:

  • Stand in key locations around the course
  • Direct rickshaws
  • Alert pedestrians of approach
  • Possible use of walkie talkie and chance to say "copy that", "over" and other awesome lingo.
  • Stationed at entrance of venue
  • Seat patrons
  • Liaise with restaurant owners and staff
  • Liaise with marshals as to whether guests need to speed up or slow down.  When they need to speed up, offering to eat the rest of their spring roll is not encouraged.
  • Pulling the rickshaw!  I'm assured it's not as hard as it seems and women are more than capable of doing so. 
  • Brief training will be given before your first session.
  • You'll need to wait outside venues while guests are eating inside - plenty of time to let passers-by have a squeeze of those muscles.

The sessions go for around four hours (roughly 11.45am-3.30pm for lunch, 5.45pm-9pm for dinner).  The sessions are:  Dinner each night from Friday 1 March to Sunday 10 March; lunch on Sat and Sun 2-3 March and Sat, Sun and Mon 9-11 March.


I am volunteering as a restaurant host and Kenny and Bennie of Consider the Sauce are volunteering as rickshaw pullers.  This is such a fantastic grass roots event and a chance to be an ambassador for your area.  Plus, there's free food.

Come join us!

You will??  Email Ben Coyle, President of Footscray Traders and also owner of the Dancing Dog, on  president@footscraytraders.com.au.  For any questions, you can also call Ben Coyle on 0434 100 567 or Grant Miles on 0418 326 618.  PS:  You are awesome!


  1. We will be doing the Run this Saturday. Saw it last year,just after we moved to Foodscray:) and booked as soon as the festival was announced.

    1. Foodscray, love it! Sorry for such a slow reply Brian. I hope you enjoyed the Run - I have been loving volunteering!

  2. The run was such good fun I volunteered to be a rickshaw driver a couple of times over the final weekend and had a great time.

    Thanks for making me aware of the opportunity to volunteer

    Roll On Next Year.

    1. Oh Brian, GOOD ON YOU. That is unreal! I went on the Run both as a guest and a volunteer. I had an absolute ball volunteering - wish I could have done it every night. Hopefully we'll be having post-Run beers at Sen together next year!


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