When it comes to deciding which vendors get to peddle food and goods at Corpus Christi beaches and parks it’s often the luck of the draw.
“It’s a lottery system,” said Sean Lanning, the owner of Snack Daddies Ice Cream and Candy.
That ice cream truck is one of just two vendors permitted to sell food at Cole Park through the end of January. Lanning has applied to keep his spot during the busy spring and summer months, but if more businesses apply than permits exist, the city will hold a drawing to see who gets them.
“If there’s 25 trucks out there trying to get this spot, there are 24 wishing they could find some place similar,” Lanning said.
It’s the same system at beaches along the Gulf of Mexico that are part of the city, only there are ten vendor permits for them. It means a variety of foods and goods for beachgoers, and it has city leaders hopeful that those people will choose Corpus Christi beaches over other beaches.
“I think our beaches are just more awesome,” the city’s program manager for special events Laura Jasso said. “We have a great staff that keeps our beaches really clean, and with our vendors out there, you need to get out there and enjoy the beach.”
Back at Cole Park, park visitor Rachel Tumlinson enjoyed the beautiful weather with her toddler daughter June. While they weren’t in the mood for Lanning’s ice cream, they’re glad that he and other vendors work the park and beaches.
“I think it’s great,” Tumlinson said as June began to throw a tantrum. “When you have things like [the tantrum] going on, you’re like, ‘oh, do you want a bite to eat? You want a little ice cream or something?’ I think the option is great.”
The deadline to apply for a vendor permit for March through September at Cole Park or Corpus Christi gulf beaches is Friday, January 25 at 5:00 p.m. The forms are available on the city’s website, but they must be delivered to the city in person or via the mail.