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Tourism Board presented idea of Food Truck Fest at Lewisport Council Meeting

Hancock County Tourism Board Member Karen Colbert spoke to council members and Mayor Chad Gregory at the Lewisport City Council Meeting on Thursday, February 15th, to begin an opening dialogue on a project that the tourism board is wanting to fund and partner with the City on, to host a Food Truck Festival at the park in downtown Lewisport.

“We’re just in the beginning stages of this,” Colbert said. “We have food trucks ready to go. Our idea to begin with was to have the food trucks line-up around the park but with their ordering windows facing inward so that we wouldn’t have to block off any streets; it would all be inside the park.”

Gregory asked how many food trucks the tourism board would anticipate being at the festival and the answer was that the goal is to fill the area, the parking spaces around the green space, and that most of them are self-contained and have generators.

“There’s plenty of electricity over there,” Gregory said. “But, any sizable function that we have over there, I always feel better when the streets are blocked. That’s my philosophy (for safety reasons).”

Colbert said that is totally up to the council and the mayor as to whether the streets are blocked or not. “That is why the tourism board wanted to come and meet with everyone and talk about the details,” she said. “The safety of the citizens and details like that are up to the city and then the tourism just wants to partner for the event.”

It was stated that if they decided to hire local bands, that the streets would have to be blocked off. It was also mentioned by Councilman Kelly Vanover that more people might show up if the streets weren’t blocked and festival goers were able to walk into the festival. Tourism and safety are the 2 main factors in this everyone agreed, and even though the trucks have generators, they would still want to have the entire area well lighted, and Colbert said the tourism board could rent some of the light plants.

“We at the fair have always rented light plants because the parking is out from the area from the fair,” Colbert said, as she is also a HC Fair Board Member and the Treasurer. She said the tourism board members are open to what the dates for this festival would be, and want to schedule with the City of Lewisport and work around what they already have scheduled. All council members agreed that it is a great idea.

“We’ll try to accommodate for the best weekend,” Gregory said.

Councilwoman Mary Margaret Hawkins said she’d like to have the HC Farm Museum in downtown Lewisport open during this festival as well so that people can tour it, and asked what the tourism board had in mind for the length of the event.

Colbert answered that it was up to the council members. “And, if you all decide you want to hire some bands or have some entertainment or something else,” she said, “the tourism board will be the ones paying for all of it.”

“Well, I say we close the streets down for this,” Gregory said again. Other council members agreed, and said that it wasn’t a problem to close off the streets for the festival.

Gregory said for the tourism board to draw some dates out, and that the only major event coming up is the Lewisport Heritage Festival, and also the HC Chamber Spring Market in April.

Colbert will be getting together with Collections & Admin. Assistant at Lewisport City Hall Megan Simpson, who organizes the Lewisport Farmer’s Market, to coordinate around those dates, or possibly along with them for the Food Truck Fest scheduling. Keep an eye out in the Hancock Clarion for the date and time of the upcoming Lewisport Food Truck Festival!

By Jennifer Wimmer

 

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