Food truck Friday to return to city

Castiglione Memorial Park in downtown Gloversville will be the site of Food Truck Friday events starting Friday. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

GLOVERSVILLE — As the area starts reopening after more than a year of shutdowns and restriction due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth is looking for opportunities to bring people back to downtown Gloversville.

With an eye on reimagining downtown and utilizing the green space available, Food Truck Fridays will become a stable in Castiglione Park starting April 30.

“A lot of the people who are here from 9 to 5 need a place to go for lunch outside of what is normally there,” Downtown Gloversville Development Specialist James Hannahs said. “We have this great park in the middle of a high traffic area so we thought what could we do to utilize this space? The food trucks coming in is a chance to reimagine downtown for a consumer base. If you look at downtown Gloversville now there is a following. From a planning perspective this is a great fit.”

Food Truck events have been successful in cities around the Capitol region, giving people the opportunity to get outside and enjoy space that is available to them.

“One thing the pandemic has taught us it to really need to value the outside space you have available to gather and socialize so you are not cooped up inside when you can be outside in these public spaces,” Hannahs said. “That is part of the reason we are trying to utilize these spaces, especially Castiglione Park. We believe we can safely gather for events like Food Truck Friday. It is definitely a step in the right direction for larger events like the RailFest and other events like that.”

Food Truck Friday will run weekly from April 30 through November 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Castiglione Park next to Great Rentals. In case of rain, the event will be moved to the nearby Farmers’ Market Pavilion.

‘The first week it will be The Mac Factor and the Brass Monkey pulling up as well and offering a menu complementary to what The Mac Factor has,” Hannahs said. “There will be live music during the event sponsored by the Micropolis Development Group, while the event is sponsored by Nathan Littauer Hospital and Jon and Sunday Blackmon.”

People planning to enjoy the events are asked to follow the mandates in place for local restaurants.

“Wear a mask and stay six feet apart. There will be areas where you can grab some food, sit and enjoy some music while you are there,” Hannahs said. “We will be following the mandates that are in place for the restaurants — if you are sitting, you can have the masks off but will need them while in Castiglione Park. There will be hand sanitizing stations throughout the park, also. If you are sitting at a table, you should be with the party you came with. We will have options available for people to come in and enjoy the space.”

As the weekly event evolves, Hannahs said different trucks will be participating.

“We are looking to get food trucks here from past the Capitol region and out of the 518 area,” he said. “They are willing to go to Albany and geographically we are smack-dab in the middle. So, we do have that aspect of geological location on our side. We are working hard to bring some diversity into the area that may or may not have been here before. It is definitely a step in the right direction.”

People interested in presenting entertainment during the events are asked to contact Hannahs at the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth, 34 W. Fulton St., Gloversville or call (518) 725-7700.

By Patricia Older