Dozens of Food Trucks, Charities Gather For Community Picnic

November 11, 2021

In the season inspired by eating and giving, Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture and Chapel Hill Parks & Recreation are hosting the first Thanks + Giving Food Truck Rodeo and Non-Profit Showcase. On Sunday, November 21 from 12-4 p.m. at Legion Road Open Space, food vendors will offer a variety of cuisines, and local non-profits will provide participatory activities for all ages. Two organizations, TABLE and the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service, will anchor the event and will collect canned food, winter clothing items, and toiletries.

The Thanks + Giving Food Truck Rodeo directly responds to what Community Arts & Culture has heard from the community on the future of festivals and events in Chapel Hill. “Residents have told us that they want inclusive and sustainable events, so we gave priority to BIPOC-owned food trucks and are requiring the use of compostable serving ware.  Residents also told us they enjoy events that are aligned with community values, so we invited non-profits to be a part of the event and included two food and supply drives,” says Susan Brown, Executive Director of Community Arts and Culture. Brown says the event will have the feeling of a community picnic, and attendees should bring blankets and folding chairs to spread out on the large green space at Legion Road. A local DJ will provide a family-friendly soundtrack and lawn games will be out as well.

Attendees can expect to see around 15 non-profits focused on a span of causes from mental health to art therapy to sustainability and more. Participating organizations applied through an open call, had to be a locally based 501c(3), and provide an interactive component to their booth space. The current collection of charities includes EmPOWERMENT, Porch, B3 Coffee, Hope Renovations, Musical Empowerment, Institute of Art Therapy, TABLE, Chapel Hill Service League, Orange Literacy, Kidzu Children’s Museum, Orange County Rape Crisis Center, Triangle Bikeworks, Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary, and Inter-Faith Council for Social Service.

Around 15 food trucks will be participating with menu items influenced by a range of fare. Vendors were selected based on diverse cuisine, including sweets, and on a commitment to using 100% compostable materials. The current line-up of food trucks includes The Naked Empanada, Baton Rouge Cuisine, The Corner Venezuelan, The Paddy Wagon, Poblanos Tacos, Buffolina’s, Brusters Ice Cream, Cilantro Mexican Cuisine, Drizzle D’s, and Buoy Bowls.

Plenty of parking will be available and alternate modes of transportation are always encouraged. Consider biking to the event or using Chapel Hill Transit. Route D will stop every hour at the Europa Center, located close to the event.   Phil Fleischmann, Director of Chapel Hill Parks & Recreation, says that he is excited to welcome the community to the Legion Road Open Space, “While there are many conversations to be had about the future use of this area, this is a great opportunity for the community to see the open space, enjoy some unique food, and learn more about local non-profits. .”

The Thanks + Giving Food Truck Rodeo is being organized by the Town of Chapel Hill’s Community Arts & Culture and Parks & Recreation divisions. To learn more about the event, visit chapelhillarts.org/foodtruckrodeo. To learn more about Community Arts & Culture, visit chapelhillarts.org. To learn more about Park & Recreation, visit www.chapelhillparks.org.