With the 2014 Downtown Sounds concert series concluding last month, the town wanted another way to attract people downtown. Rather than re-invent the wheel, it has decided to hop on the already-rolling nomadic culinary bandwagon.
Sunday afternoon downtown Garner will host Trick-or-Eat, its first food truck rodeo, which will feature 12 mobile restaurants, two local craft breweries and three musical acts.
“The promotions committee was looking for some kind of new event to bring people into the Main Street area of downtown since downtown concert series was over,” Garner Revitalization Association executive director John Hodges said, noting the popularity of the food rodeo trend.
Garner residents have complained in the past about a shortage of restaurants, but at least Sunday complaints of limited culinary options will rest. Patrons can enjoy everything from barbecue and tacos to Greek and Asian food, plus desserts (or for beer drinkers, liquid dessert.)
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The event is also seen by the town as a promotional chance to inform people of the town’s downtown plans. The site of the rodeo happens to be the future site of the $7.8 million rec center currently being designed. It’s one of many projects aimed at improving downtown, driving traffic and drawing commercial investment.
“We’re trying to attract the people that follow food trucks but who are not necessarily familiar with what we’re trying to do with the downtown area,” Hodges said.
The event will start at noon and run until 4 p.m. Food trucks include rodeo regulars The Humble Pig, Baguettaboutit, Captain Panchos Taco Truck, Barone Meatball Company, American Meltdown and Hibachi Xpress among others.
Deep River Brewing Co. out of Clayton and Double Barley Brewing from Smithfield will also attend.
The end of the concert series won’t leave this a silent event. Around 12:30 p.m. Motley Tones, a pirate themed band Hodges said fit the Halloween season, will begin a set. Later folk-Americana husband and wife duet Arlington Priests will also play a set of 45 minutes to an hour. Finally, Honest John will round out the musical acts. That band includes high schooler Jackson Honeycutt, brother of former Miss North Carolina Arlie Honeycutt whose mother founded the Towne Players of Garner theater group.
Traffic on Main Street will be closed from Montague Street across the future rec center site and beyond, all the way to Rand Mill Road. The town advises parking at Garner Baseball and the Garner Lions Club to the west, and on Rand Mill Road and on East Main Street to the east. It has a map of parking sites available online.
The rest of the food truck lineup includes: Sol Tacos, Gussy’s Greek Street Food, TJ’s Kitchen, CJ’s Street Food, Dusty Donuts and Jam Ice Cream.