The food trucks are coming! The food trucks are coming! And, with them, the Newton Convention and Visitors Bureau is hoping a following of devoted fans will be coming as well to check out a new event in downtown Newton.
On April 1, a number of vehicles will convene at the Depot Park outside the Newton Amtrak Station (414 N. Main St.) for the inaugural Food Trucks at the Depot event.
Looking to expand the calendar, Newton CVB coordinator Melody Spurney admitted the idea jumped out because of its uniqueness. Downtown Newton has not hosted any type of food truck rally previously and it also presented the opportunity to feature a different part of downtown.
"Really, we wanted to add another event to the downtown calendar," Spurney said, "and the secondary goal would be to use that Depot Park, which has been kind of under-utilized as an event facility, but is available as such."
Having the necessary electrical capacities, Spurney noted the park lends itself well to the event. The food trucks will line the streets around the depot while the park itself can be utilized by patrons to eat their meals and enjoy the musical entertainment that is also planned for the event.
Spurney said the idea was a joint effort between the CVB and 701 Cafe owner Chris Young (who is organizing the trucks and entertainment), starting out as a "what if" scenario. Then, the pair went and scouted a food truck rally in Wichita, knocking on doors and gauging the interest of some of the trucks involved. Given the receptive attitude of those vendors, they moved forward with plans for an event in Newton and it is something they are looking forward to.
"People are getting excited about this. I'm personally looking forward to seeing the food trucks in Newton," Spurney said. "I enjoy that and it's not something that we've done before. I'm just looking forward to it being something new and a little bit different that hopefully gets all ages of people out to enjoy the space."
While Spurney said the event should be of interest to the Newton community, it is also targeted at those who live outside of the area to drive up overall interest in the downtown area.
"Those food trucks tend to attract fans and followers, so we're hoping to bring a few people from outside of Newton to downtown to hopefully get acquainted and want to come back," Spurney said. "Hopefully it introduces new people to our downtown who might see something that they'd like to explore further, or one of the restaurants that they might not eat at because they're eating at the food trucks, then come back."
"I think any kind of fun thing we can do to bring people downtown and celebrate our own community is great for people who live here," Spurney said.
Food Trucks will be serving up various offerings outside the depot for the event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 1.