Don't let the date fool you. There really is a food-centric festival being held in downtown Newton this weekend, as Newton Convention and Visitors Bureau, 701 Café, Visivo and Safehope will be hosting the inaugural "Ain't No Joke" food truck rally from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Depot Park (on the corner of Fifth and Main).
Hosting a unique event at an underutilized venue helped drive the idea initially, but at its heart Newton CVB coordinator Melody Spurney noted it is about bringing both locals and those from out of the area to downtown Newton, with the buzz growing steadily since the rally's announcement.
"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."
Appealing to a broad audience, there will be a number of ways to enjoy the festivities at Saturday's event.
While there will be a number of food trucks from around the area present, Newton itself will also be well-represented. Local staples Crust and Crumb, LeJ's Bar-B-Q, Salted Creamery and 701 Café, which will be breaking out a "bierock bus," will all have a presence at the rally.
Try Something New
Of course, a number of regional food trucks will also be making the trip to Newton for the event. Attendees can enjoy Asian-inspired street food from The Kamayan Truck or the Hawaiian delicacies (i.e. kalua pig, poké, etc.) from Noble House, along with the cuisine of other Wichita mainstays like Funky Monkey Munchies, Lo Lo's Crepes and Emporia's Surly Mermaid. Looking for specialty drinks? Wichita's Songbird Juice Company will be making the trip to Newton on Saturday. For something a little stronger, both Sunflower Espresso and the Drink Local truck will also be in attendance.
Enjoy the atmosphere
Tailspin will be playing music throughout the event on Saturday, which is one of numerous activities planned for the weekend. Attendees are also invited to explore downtown Newton while at the rally, something Spurney is hoping leads to more interest and future visits.
"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."
If you go:
When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., April 1
Where: Depot Park, 100 E. Fifth St., Newton
How much: Admission is free. The trucks will be charging for food, so attendees are encouraged to bring cash.