The work needing to take place in the office was overpowered by the desire to socialize and eat good food. The aroma of fresh cooked food descended upon Main Street like an open invitation, a reminder to those who may have forgotten, the first Food Truck Friday had arrived downtown.
Success. The first-of-its-kind event in Elkin was a delightful success. Attendance was higher than I believe organizers expected it to be, not just at lunchtime, but most especially for the dinner experience — delicious food (I ate the pineapple tilapia from the Caribbean truck for lunch and the gyro from the pita truck at supper), great tunes with people dancing and relaxing, and drinks flowing.
The dog-friendly, kid-friendly gathering was the first official entertainment event put on by the newly-formed Explore Elkin initiative, which involves a large number of community volunteers under the guidance of Jeff Eidson, G&B Energy owner and newly-appointed town commissioner. The idea for the group came from Mayor Sam Bishop’s desire to see downtown transform into a cultural arts, events and tourist destination.
The group’s efforts have actually grown beyond just event planning, to social networking and a chance for community members to be involved and voice their opinions on where they want to see the town go in the future through weekly roundtable discussions being held this month.
While I’ve not been able to take part in the roundtable discussions due to my son’s soccer practices on the other side of the county, I have enjoyed being able to be part of the initiative as a member of the marketing committee and assisting at the first Food Truck Friday.
Some people may not realize it, but my life was wrapped in and around music growing up. I’ve been singing since I was very young, through church first, then through school choirs. There is very little music I don’t love and appreciate, and you can ask my coworkers, it’s not unusual for me to randomly break out in song like a musical, typically when someone says some phrase or a story is shared that sparks a song memory for me.
So the music at Food Truck Friday was right up my alley, and I’m just as excited about this week’s inaugural Live at Five event set for Thursday evening.
Live at Five will be at the Elkin Farmers Market shelter at the corner of North Bridge and Market streets, just as Food Truck Friday was. Local beer and wine will be available to those old enough to legally drink. But there is one main difference in this week’s event — the lack of food.
The idea is for people to come downtown, grab a sandwich or meal and bring it up to the shelter to enjoy the free tunes — this week provided by 60 Watt Combo — or stop by and listen to the music and then head downtown to patronize the local restaurants.
It’s the perfect week for the event. The weather is expected to be beautiful, and there are several restaurants downtown where visitors and locals can dine with anything as simple as a burger or sandwich to a larger entree like pasta or a meat and veggies.
One thing I miss about these weekday events is that my family isn’t able to attend them with me. Since I live just outside of Pilot Mountain in the Longhill community, it’s a 35- to 40-minute drive, and my husband isn’t typically done working until too late to clean up and make it over here in time.
But that’s OK. I still enjoyed going up and visiting with friends I have through my work covering the Elkin community. The same will be true for Thursday’s 5 to 7:30 p.m. music event.
The success of these events is one piece in a larger puzzle picture of ensuring the future success of Elkin and its surrounding Yadkin Valley communities. And if the first Food Truck Friday was any indicator, Elkin can look forward to many successful years to come.
Have you gotten out to explore Elkin yet? Share your adventures with me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wendy Byerly Wood is editor of The Tribune, The Yadkin Ripple and On The Vine magazine. She may be reached at 336-258-4035, email@example.com or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.