Food trucks to converge in downtown Anoka

Managing Editor
Mandy has been with ABC Newspapers since 2007, when she joined the staff as the editor of the Anoka County Union. She has been the managing editor of the UnionHerald and Blaine Spring Lake Park Life since 2014.

A food truck festival is coming to the north metro.

The Anoka City Council March 20 approved a special events license for the Anoka Food Truck Festival.

It will take place from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 22 – coinciding with Discover Anoka Days (formerly called Anoka Sidewalk Sale Days).

Typically, Anoka doesn’t allow food trucks in its downtown to compete with local brick-and-mortar restaurants.

The event will be hosted by Forward Events, LLC, which also holds food truck festivals in Uptown and St. Paul. Organizers Tom and Jess Jenkins hope for the festival to be an annual event.

Twenty-five Twin Cities food trucks will descend on downtown Anoka for the festival, which will also include craft beer, live music and family-friendly outdoor games like bean bags and giant Jenga.

“This has been a successful event in other communities,” Tom Jenkins said.

Diners can expect an eclectic mix of options.

“Every single kind of infusion you can think of – Asian meets American meets Italian, you name it,” Jenkins said.

The approval received unanimous support from the City Council.

“I have a real sneaking suspicion this is going to be a real big event,” Council Member Jeff Weaver said. There could be thousands and thousands of people. I’m thrilled that they wanted to be in Anoka. It’s a match.”

Council Member Brian Wesp noted that on the surface a food truck festival could be seen as detrimental to Anoka’s downtown restaurants. But in hearing from local proprietors, Wesp said they look forward to bringing a new group of customers to Anoka.

“They’re maybe giving up a burger or two to get a lot of people to discover Anoka,” Wesp said.

The council noted considerable staff time had gone into the special events license application. The council also held a work session on the topic last month.

“It’s going to be a first; we’ve got to do it right the first time,” Weaver said.

Organizers will be responsible for the cost of security, barricades and fencing along with providing portable restrooms.

As required by the city, 80 percent of the profits from this type of event must be donated to charity.

Forward Events has chosen the ACBC Food Shelf as the recipient of a donation from money made at the food truck festival.

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