Food trucks return to Eastside Park Tuesday

May 2—The Washington Parks Department will be bringing Food Truck Tuesday back to Eastside Park this summer. The trucks will be in the main parking lot starting May 7 through the end of July tentatively.

"This is one more way to show off the park," said Washington City Parks Superintendent Kip Kelley. "This gives the public some options to have a night out, enjoy some food. Sometimes we also have entertainment."

Food Truck Tuesday is returning to the park by popular demand. It is one of the best attended events the city puts on with a regular schedule.

"We have been doing this for the last three years. It's very popular. We have people who just can't wait until we start it back up every year," said Kelley. "On a typical night, hundreds of hungry people come out. Weather permitting, we have 200 to 500 people each night. They hang out and eat. If we have entertainment, they listen to that."

Food Truck Tuesday is not something that happens by accident. Organizing has been underway for weeks to get ready for the season.

"We started getting trucks signed up in March. We only allow a certain number of vendors. If you get too many no one makes much money. We will have 11 food trucks with each one having one specialty item, and that item cannot be duplicated by any other vendor that evening," said Kelley.

That means on any given Tuesday night people can expect a lot of variety including hamburgers, barbecue, pizza, hotdogs, chicken, fish, funnel cakes and ice cream.

The food trucks might be the main event but there will also be some music in the park from time to time as part of the program.

"We have small local bands. We don't do one every Tuesday because of the costs. We try to do at least two a month. First act will be 'Three Girls and a Mustache'," said Kelley.

The exact last day for food truck Tuesday is not set yet. Like a lot of summer events, it won't run much past the start of school.

"We have tried to run it later, but once school starts, the crowds disappear. We will run through July 30. We might try Aug. 6 but that is not on our books yet. We don't do July 2 because we have our carnival out there for the Fourth of July celebration," said Kelley. "We often get people from out of town to come in and enjoy the evening with us. We want everyone to come out to the park and enjoy this."