Cart, horse. No pun intended.

Tomorrow’s Council agenda has at least one really important item on the agenda:

12a. That the City Council of the City of Worcester hereby opposes the “Strengthening Our Schools” amendment to the state casino bill. (Rushton, Petty, O’Brien)

And at least one that makes you scratch your head:

10h. Request City Manager work with community partners to develop a gourmet food truck festival for May 2012. (Rushton)

Now, that’s not a bad idea.  Boston has had food truck fests in the past (though one was recently cancelled due to Occupy Boston), and there was recently a food truck festival at Suffolk Downs.

But the difference between Boston and Worcester is that Boston actually encourages food vendors on their streets.  Boston sponsored a contest for food trucks to occupy prime real estate.  Boston lets you know — on the official city website — scheduled stops for food trucks.  While the system isn’t perfect, that city is actively working to “foster an active food truck culture.”

Now, one could argue that Councilor Rushton’s item is a push in the right direction — that is, if we can warm folks up to the idea of food trucks, then we’d gain some support for normalizing street-vendor-hood in the city.

But these food truck fests do not just pull trucks out of the ether — they’re real, live businesses.

And if they come to Worcester, they’ll be told that they’re more than willing to visit as long as they don’t move here.

How many local food trucks would be able to participate in a food truck festival?

I don’t think many residents are interested in (just) another fest.  Why should we settle for ‘gourmet’ food trucks once a year when we could be encouraging the culinary creativity of our own residents?

(Images: Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, by cherrylet, and BBQ Food Smith Food Truck: Boston, MA, USA, by SierraTerra.)

3 thoughts on “Cart, horse. No pun intended.

  1. Tracy says:

    Is it more or less confusing if I tell you that I’ve placed the first item on the School Committee agenda for Thursday?
    (No pull on food trucks, I fear.)

  2. Glad to see that Worcester will make every effort not to support this sleazy casino bill.

    There has to be less regulation of nascent food truck businesses in order for them to flourish. Worcester is crazy NOT to do this. How do you start a quality restaurant? For one thing a truck is probably cheaper and allows the owner more flexibility in getting established than signing a lease to a building.

    Allow them to park in more places down town or WHEREVER they want.

    Give them the opportunity to set up music, sounds, WiFi, whatever.

    Encourage multi-ethnic and bakeries

    Consider an experimental Worc Voke “lab” truck: gets the Voke “brand” out in areas to furtherpromote the school, gives real life experience, could be used for school and city functions, etc.

  3. Hi Nicole – I work for Food Truck Festivals of New England and we were responsible for the Suffolk Downs Food Truck Festival in East Boston and the WZLX Monster Food Truck Festival in Framingham. The food truck phenomenon is here to stay and we would love to do a festival in Worcester. We invite food trucks from all over New England to our festivals and always love having local trucks. Please let us know if there are any we should reach out to? Calling all Worcester food trucks — We want you!

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