By Christine Bryant
Though a fixture in many cities even as far back as the 19th century, food carts have boomed in popularity over the past few years.
While taco and pizza carts still line the streets of college towns, food trucks selling gourmet goods like Korean barbecue, cupcakes and chicken n’ waffles are taking center stage, including in Reynoldsburg.
The response to the presence of food trucks in Reynoldsburg has been so positive that city officials are once again holding a food truck festival this month.
The Reynoldsburg Fall Food Truck Festival will take place from 5-9 p.m. Sept. 22 at JFK Park, 7232 E. Main St. The event marks the second food truck festival held this year in the city.
“We began them in 2016 and received rave reviews,” said Donna Bauman, director of the city’s parks and recreation department. “Our goal is to host a food truck festival once per month beginning around May of 2018 and running through September of 2018.”
She says city officials are encouraging residents to send them the names of their favorite food trucks to invite.
This month’s event so far will feature the following trucks: Java Brava, Pitabilities, Chicky Chicky Waffle, Aromaku, Cupzilla, Pizza Cottage, Bob¹s Backyard Bar B-Q, Betty¹s Kitchen, Holly Hill Farms, Sweet Tooth and Dimsum Luck.
Reynoldsburg Mayor Brad McCloud will perform live music, and the YMCA will be on hand to provide activities for children.
The city’s first food truck festival in 2016 attracted around 500 to 600 attendees, and the city has since received several more requests to sponsor this type of event.
“The public has not let us down,” Bauman said. “Food trucks are very popular and a fun and exciting way to bring the community together.”
Throughout the year, food trucks have dotted the city’s landscape, appearing on a regular basis at events like the city’s Thursday farmer’s markets, Fourth of July festivities and movie nights at Huber Park.
A Schmidt’s food truck stationed outside City Hall every Wednesday has been so successful, the popular restaurant that serves German cuisine extended what was initially a short-term visit into a long-term stay. Bauman said Schmidt¹s currently is scheduled to appear this season through Oct. 25.