After a year-long break due to the coronavirus pandemic, Food Truck Friday sponsored by the Chocolate Moose event is scheduled to make a comeback in Bloomington, bringing a wide variety of cuisine with it.
Food Truck Friday plans to return, June 4 at Switchyard Park. The free event traditionally takes place 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every Friday from April through October, and has previously featured fun activities such as face painting, balloons and live music.
The Chocolate Moose General Manager, Jordan Davis, and Owner, Justin Loveless, started Food Truck Friday in September 2014 back when the Chocolate Moose was just “The Stand.” They originally started the event as a way to bring customers closer to their store to draw up lunch business, Davis said.
The pair decided to hold the event on Fridays because it rolled off the tongue well, Davis said. The concept of Food Truck Friday was ahead of the game in terms of the country, Davis said. So ahead, in fact, that if you go to facebook.com/foodtruckfriday, it takes you to Bloomington’s event page instead of bigger cities.
“I take pride in the fact that we thought of this before Austin or Nashville,” Davis said.
The event has grown in popularity over the years and has moved to several locations before joining Switchyard park.
“It blew up,” Davis said. “It turned into the coolest community event. People started buying and opening up food trucks just to attend the event.”
Health and safety protocols are still to be determined, Davis said. He said he is working closely with the Monroe County Health Department and the event will not happen until they submit a plan that the department approves.
About 80% of the food trucks in Bloomington attend Food Truck Friday, Davis said. The types of food served by the trucks include tacos, quesadillas, barbecue, kebabs, hotdogs, stir fry, grilled cheese, shaved ice and ice cream, Davis said.
Davis said he hopes to see students come to the event in the future, even though Switchyard Park is a little further from campus.
“It’s really a family friendly, party-like atmosphere that costs you nothing unless you want some good food,” Davis said.
Senior Isabelle Findley said she is excited for the return of Food Truck Friday. Although she has never been, she said she enjoys food truck foods, and thinks it will be good for the community to be able to come together, especially if the event is outdoors.
Sophomore Andrea King said she agrees the return of Food Truck Friday will be beneficial to the community.
“It could help bring business back to the trucks as well as other local businesses,” King said.
Both Findley and King said they think Food Truck Friday is a great event for students.
It’s a great way for friends to try a variety of foods because it provides more than just a place to eat, King said.
“We’re always looking for fun and different things to do as long as they are in budget,” Findley said.