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Car Hop event helps keep vendors afloat (PHOTO GALLERY)

Nevada County has held its final Car Hop event for temporary food facility operators.

The event began weeks ago as a way to help food vendors out of business due to canceled events such as festivals and street fairs.

“I was sitting on my porch thinking, I gotta do something,” Nevada County Environmental Health Department Director Amy Irani said. “Normally, summer is their biggest time. How can we make it COVID safe?”

So Irani designated the parking area of the Eric Rood Administrative Center to accommodate temporary food facility booths where cars could drive up and order in a safe and distant manner.

“It’s nice that the county is doing this,” said Cheri Snook, of Cheri’s Hand Dipped Ice Cream, during Saturday’s event.

“But I should be up in Tahoe where people are on the beach, making $1,000, $2,000 a day,” she added. “Instead I’m making $50.”

Snook, like the other Car Hop vendors, are grateful for the event, but are still feeling the cash crunch due to lack of business during this time of year.

“It certainly helps,” Mitzi Garnett of Sierra Savories said of the event. “It absolutely makes it so that I’m not sinking. I can at least stay buoyant. Most people just don’t want to lose ground.”

Garnett and her crew were busy serving up spring rolls and bento boxes Saturday for some of their loyal patrons, using masked car hops to ensure an entirely contactless food delivery.

Grass Valley’s Thursday Night Markets, Nevada City’s Summer Nights, the Celtic Festival, the Draft Horse Classic and Home and Garden Show — all canceled due to COVID-19 ­­— are some of the summer money makers that vendors like Garnett would usually rely on to be successful.

Though the final Nevada County Car Hop event has passed, talks of bringing the event back with more of a volunteer effort are being considered.

“We’ll see,” Irani said of a future Car Hop event. “It’s something worth considering. It takes a lot of coordinated time. It’s definitely something I would entertain working with the volunteer community on.”

To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez email, efunez@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.


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