The town of Garner will hold its third annual “Trick or Eat Food Truck Rodeo” this Sunday, with continued hopes that more people will be attracted to the area and establish their business here.
The food truck rodeos and multiple events in Garner have given many business owners a chance to see the Historic Downtown District.
That was the case for Ray Chow and business partners, Chris Wellington and Tom Geiger, co-founders of Foosye, a tech start-up company that connects food truck owners. Chow, who also owns, Hibachi Xpress food truck, was in Garner with his food truck one day last year when he first saw the space.
Chow said he met Neal Padgett and John Hodges at an event in Garner last year, when Padgett recommended he check out one of the open spaces downtown. When he came for the food truck rodeo, he was able to visit.
Chow, Wellington and Geiger were previously in downtown Raleigh, before leaving. Now they’ve been in Garner for the past year.
“Raleigh wasn’t as convenient. It was difficult to find parking, and traffic was a little more than we desired,” Chow said. “And Garner was three times the space for significantly less money. We have a lot of room to grow as we envision our company will grow.”
Mari Howe said that has been the goal all along.
“Our ultimate goal is always building momentum so people know what’s downtown and know that there are things to do downtown,” Mari Howe, Garner’s downtown development director, said. “We’d like to see retail and restaurants downtown, but until that happens, we want people to start thinking about it, and what’s happening in our downtown and the vision we have for it.”
In late 2017, the town hopes to finish construction on its new $8.9 million recreation center. The 45,000-square-foot facility is expected to spur growth in Garner’s downtown, which has been a focus for town leaders in recent years.
Sunday’s food truck rodeo will be from noon to 5 p.m. on Main Street, in the heart of the Historic Downtown. The event brought out about 2,500 people last year, and Howe said she expects there to be more this year.
“This is the third year we’ve had it, and people are still really excited about food trucks,” she said. “They know it’s happening in Raleigh and Durham, but they’re excited to see a lot of well known food trucks come to Garner. It’s kind of a big deal for a small town.”
There will be 15 food trucks in all. They include: CockADoodleMoo, Qspresso, Dusty Donuts, Howard Lee’s Sum’ Teat, SoomSoom Pita Pockets, American Meltdown, Buddhalicious, CJ’s Street Food, Beligian Waffle Crafters, Olio & Aceto, Arepa Culture, Gussy’s Greek, Two Roosters Ice Cream, Porchetta, and Hibachi Xpress.
There will also be three local craft breweries. They include: Draft Line Brewery, Blueprint Brewing Co. and Double Barley Brewing.
The event will also offer events for children. Sylvan Learning Center will have a tent with games for the children so their parents can hang out and eat. This year there will be a free park and ride from the Garner Performing Art Center parking lot. 919-669-8889 firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the Food Truck Rodeo including parking, go to http://downtowngarner.com/trick-eat-food-truck-rodeo-2016/