More shade, kids’ activities at 2017 Food Truck event
For the third year in a row, the Food Truck Championship of Texas event will be held on the Graham downtown square. The June 3 event will again be opened by the Possum Pedal bike ride and closed by a concert with three bands performing.
The events will begin with the Possum Pedal early in the morning, that leads into the food truck event, which has brought thousands to Graham in prior years. The day will end at the Young County Arena with a concert headlining Aaron Watson.
The Possum Pedal ride kicks off the day of events at 7:30 a.m. at Oak and Third streets. This year, a new ride has been established for children called the Little Joey Jaunt Kids Ride that is a half-mile route within Graham.
The children’s ride begins at 8:30 a.m. and is free to participate in, but the Graham Chamber of Commerce asks all kids planning to participate to register online ahead of time, to prevent cluttering the booth for race day registration. When Graham CEO of the Chamber and Convention & Visitors Bureau Krisa De la Cruz worked on the Possum Pedal last year, she wanted to bring back a kids’ ride because it was always something special to her.
“I grew up in Graham and we always had a kids ride at Fireman’s Park,” she said. “It was a lot of fun and I have a lot of great memories.”
The Possum Pedal consists of 6, 20, 37, 51, 67 and 83 mile routes, each chosen by a board of cyclists in Graham. Routes travel through southwest Young County, including Graham, South Bend, Eliasville and Woodson, and can be found on the chamber event website at possumpedal.com.
Registration will not be open on the evening of Friday, June 2, but will be open on the following Saturday, June 3, at the American Legion Building on 608 Elm Street. Registration before May 31 is $35 for adults, $25 for kids 13-17 years old and free for kids 12 and under.
Prices increase to $40 for singles and $60 for tandems after May 31 and for race day registration. Riders under 14 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
The ride is not a race, so bikers must obey traffic laws and ride to the far right of the road. Helmets will be required for all participants. Rest stops will be spaced out every 10-12 miles with emergency support and gear wagons.
Common repair parts will be available but riders are responsible for their own equipment repairs.
The third annual Food Truck Championship of Texas follows the Possum Pedal with its own kickoff at 11 a.m. on the Graham downtown square. The event will be open until 4 p.m. Judging for the competition will begin prior at 10:30 a.m. but De La Cruz said that won’t stop those interested in lining up for food.
“We opened at 11 last year and people were lined up by 10 o’clock, so people start lining up really early which is great,” she said.
Around 40-50 food trucks will be on the square, facing off for a chance to win the grand prize of $10,000. The event has grown so much each year that De La Cruz said contacting the trucks is almost not necessary for the event.
“This year it has been fun because we’ve had so many (food trucks) contact us, that had just heard about it from previous years. It’s a good place to be, when we are not doing the recruiting and we are just having applications come in,” she said.
The food truck event will have free admission and just like the two previous years, will have a designated alcohol drinking area which will be the only area where people are permitted to drink alcohol. Around 200 volunteers will be onsite assisting with the event all day.
“It takes the whole town kind of coming together to make this happen,” De La Cruz said.
Behind the American Legion Building on the square will be children’s activities, which will include face painting, hair braiding, a truck full of video games and more. The activities will be on the square until the end of the food truck event.
De La Cruz said more effort was put into the children’s side of the event this year.
“That was a really popular area last year so we put even more resources into that this year to make it even bigger and better,” she said.
The last two years have been excruciatingly hot at the food truck event so the chamber is working to provide more shade for those attending and will bring back water wagons that will travel and sell water to those on the square.
Three bands are lined up for the concert at the Young County Area at 120 Barclay Blvd., which begins at 5 p.m. with the doors opening at 4 p.m. Pre-sale tickets are only available online and are $29, while concert-day tickets are $35 at the gate, if available.
The concert will feature Walker McGuire, Reckless Kelly and Aaron Watson who will play at 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., respectively. The Graham Convention and Visitor’s Bureau board chose the bands for the concert and De La Cruz said Watson was a particularly lucky choice.
“Ever since we contracted with Aaron Watson he has gotten more and more famous so it has worked out really well for us and we could not have had better timing,” she said.
Those who come to the concert can bring their cooler for $25 per cooler, but can bring nothing larger than a 48-quart cooler, and only one cooler is allowed per ticket holder.