South Park hosts inaugural Food Truck Shindig

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By: Erin Callahan – Chief A&E Writer

‘Tis the season for street fairs.

The newest addition to the street fair scene in Dayton, the South Park Food Truck Shindig and Street Party, held its inaugural event on Saturday.

The Shindig was held at South Park Urban Garden in the South Park Historic District, on the corner of Burns Avenue and Nathan Street.

The South Park Historic District is a 24-block area of more than 700 structures dating from the 1880s to the early 20th century, according to its website. Back in the day, John H. Patterson, founder of the National Cash Register Company, nurtured the area with beautification projects.

Craig Schrolucke, marketing chair for Historic South Park, said the event was to showcase the area’s historic community aspect.

“South Park is very tight-knit,” he said. “Our tagline is, ‘Where Neighbors Become Friends,’ so we’re giving people the chance to see what’s going on in our community, meet some of our neighbors and really get a feel for that tight-knit, friendly environment that we offer.”

What sets this street fair apart from the rest is a simple but sincere concept: use locally grown produce from the South Park Urban Garden’s 30 garden beds for homespun classics in the food trucks. This season, South Park residents have used the beds to grow tomatoes, peppers, corn, flowers and more.

The participating food trucks included The Painted Pepper, The Shakery Juice Bar, C’est Cheese and G’s Cue BBQ, among others.

After grabbing a bite to eat, attendants could purchase a locally designed screen-printed T-shirt, participate in a raffle drawing for a chance to win gift certificates to South Park’s hot spots and listen to playlists performed by local DJs.

Other attractions of the evening included pick-up cornhole, kickball games and garden beds that were still sprouting fresh fruits and vegetables.

This year showed a successful turnout for the first-ever event. Schrolucke said he hopes it will continue to offer the community, including University of Dayton students, a positive experience.

“From what I’ve gathered about UD, it’s about the effort to maximize the college experience while students are here,” he said. “Many students actually live in the South Park area, but for others, it gives them a way to interact with Dayton in ways they may not have otherwise.”

The South Park Food Truck Shindig and Street Party is one of the many events that are hosted throughout the year in Historic South Park. They also provide a health and wellness fair, which administers various wellness tests, marks off distances in the neighborhood for walking paths and joins efforts with Miami Valley Hospital, Schrolucke said.

Other events include “Shakespeare in South Park,” when participants organize plays as modern takes on Shakespeare, promoting Small Business Saturdays with a small business event and a Halloween parade featuring members of the UD marching band.

For more information on Historic South Park, the Food Truck Shindig and Street Party, and other events, please visit historicsouthpark.org.