Food Truck Fridays come to close

Arlington resident Scarlet West bites into a corn dog from one of the food trucks open Friday at River Legacy Parks' Elm Grove Pavilion. Some community members come to the park Friday nights during the summer to try different food trucks and gather outdoors.

When people think of parks, they usually associate it with running or exercising. However, Friday nights at Arlington’s River Legacy Parks mean food trucks and family fun. 

The Food Truck Fridays dinner series at River Legacy Parks is an eight-week program that began May 28 for people to come out and enjoy different foods from mobile vendors.

Kristy Sheikh, rental and lake services coordinator, shared what the event is all about.

“We started the food truck series three years ago,” Sheikh said. “We have lunches and dinners both spring and fall, and it’s always an eight-week series with four lunches and four dinners.”

Sheikh said the Arlington Parks and Recreation Department also has a lunch series at the Levitt Pavilion, but saw a more successful turnout with their dinners at River Legacy Parks, since families are able to bring their children after work. She said the food truck lineup changes every week, and the trucks featured each week are tagged in the department’s social media promotions.

“We’re seeing a very strong presence at each event,” Sheikh said. “The lunches are a little difficult cause they are from 11 to 2 p.m. and so it’s kind of hot. 

Sheik said the dinners have a huge playground for kids to play on. The family-friendly event also features live local music and interactive games.

Alumna Marcia Fraire said she and her boyfriend are regulars at the dinners.

“It’s fun, it’s family-friendly, but it doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun as an adult,” Fraire said.”It’s something cheap that you can get out and do and be outdoors and enjoy the weather.”

Fraire said they already come out to the park regularly to workout. When she found out about the food trucks on Facebook, they started going every week since the dinners started. 

“We’re regulars, but we love food trucks, so we are always out here trying to find them,” she said.

Rachana Ramachandran, computer science graduate student, found out about the event through a colleague.

“My colleague where I am interning right now said on Friday evenings, there is this food truck where you could sit in the lot and relax for some time,” Ramachandran said.

River Legacy Parks shared similarities with parks in India, Ramachandran said.

“Back in India, we do have parks, but it is not as big or well-maintained as River Legacy, so this is what my Fridays used to look like back in India,” Ramachandran. “So, I was looking for this kind of a weekend and I am glad I was able to find it.”

Ramachandran plans to attend more Food Truck Fridays, and said she also found the park is useful for trail walks.

“It has been a year since I’ve came here so the first year was kind of rough since there is a major culture difference but right now I got the feel of it,” Ramachandran said.

This Friday, River Legacy Parks will hold the last dinner of the spring series. The event takes place 6 to 10 p.m. at the park’s Elm Grove Pavilion. 


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