Food Truck Rodeo To Wrangle Funds For Park Improvements

By Miriah Hamrick, posted Apr 26, 2023
As many as 8,000 people could attend this Sunday’s Food Truck Rodeo at Ogden Park. (File photo)
This weekend, nearly two dozen food trucks and mobile vendors will roll into Ogden Park for the Parks Conservancy of New Hanover County’s annual Food Truck Rodeo.
Thousands of people are expected to attend the April 30 event, where they can enjoy a taste of local favorites as well as trucks from the Triangle like Caribbean Kicker, Gussy’s Greek Street Food, and Oak City Fish and Chips. Each year, the event draws a mix of Wilmington trucks alongside those from further away, according to Janine Powell, director of donor relations with New Hanover County Parks and Gardens.
“It gives us a little bit broader cuisine to choose from,” Powell said.
Since 2014, the event has served two related purposes: it draws the community to a local park for a fun day, fulfilling the Parks Conservancy’s mission, while also raising money for improvement projects for the county’s parks. Powell said she first pitched the idea after seeing it succeed in other places.
“No one else was doing it and some bigger cities like Raleigh and Durham were having those kinds of events and having big success. I thought it would be a good model for us,” she said.
Funds generated through this year’s event will go toward construction of a new pump track and skills course at Castle Hayne’s Northern Regional Park. Partially funded in the county’s capital improvement plan, the Parks Conservancy hopes to raise $125,000 to round out the total funding needed for the project, according to Powell.
Other projects funded by past Food Truck Rodeos include Ogden Park’s skate park and Long Leaf Park’s obstacle fitness course inspired by “American Ninja Warrior.”
The event is free to attend. In the past, each truck donated 10% of the day’s proceeds back to the Parks Conservancy. Now, the organization charges a flat fee to participate, with the fees charged to trucks going toward the new Northern Regional Park project.
The Food Truck Rodeo will take place from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 30. Participating food trucks and vendors include Ahyanna Italian Ice, Antojitos Wilmington, Berserkr BBQ, Bill’s Brewing Company, Buff-o-lina, Caribbean Kicker, Gussy’s Greek Street Food, Kona Ice, Lee’s Kitchen, Lobster Dogs, Michael’s Seafood Express, Noni Bacca Winery, Oak City Fish and Chips, Paella Fusion, Poor Piggy’s, Pop-Nana’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream, Snowie of the Carolinas, Tacos Costa Grande, Tasty Tee’s Snack Shack, and T’Geaux Boys.
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