Close to 2,000 people swarmed the tiny area between the downtown Cumming parking deck and School Street for the first-ever Food Truck Fridays hosted by the City of Cumming.
From 4-9:30 p.m. Friday, people were able to stroll down School Street, eat from one of eight different food trucks and explore the Cumming Playhouse and the historic Brannon-Heard House.
According to Cumming Mayor Troy Brumbalow, this is an event that has been a long time coming, and it helps fill a need that had been expressed by community members for years.
“I grew up in Forsyth County, and we have never had a reason to go to town,” Brumbalow said. “If you went out on a date, you went to a neighboring city — Roswell, Alpharetta or Duluth — to go to dinner. People had been just longing for it for so long to have something neat, different to do in Cumming. And that’s what we are happy to be bringing them.”
He said that this is all part of the effort to get the community to engage with county events and draw more people into the county in a way they never have tried before.
“And I just think that the entire community, that’s what they have been looking forward to,” Brumbalow said. “So many people go to other municipalities for other similar events because it’s never been offered here.”
At the event, Brumbalow said he helped out for nearly three hours, giving children rides in a golf cart styled like the character Tow Mater from the Pixar Cars movie series.
“And there was a constant line for it,” he said with a chuckle.
Brumbalow said that after the first Fridays at the Fairgrounds event held in late April, they examined its successes and failures, using them to better this first Food Truck Fridays.
“We learned that we didn’t have enough food trucks, we didn’t have enough parking for old cars ... So we were able to learn from that first event to be able to prepare for this one, and this one honestly I think went flawlessly,” he said. “While we still did have some food truck lines, I don’t think they lasted over 15 minutes … where we had some two-hour waits at the fairgrounds.”
Walter Smith, a local resident who was at the event Friday, said that he was happy that the city of Cumming put the event on, saying that he had recently noticed a change in how the city does events.
“I’d call it a success for the first time,” Smith said, adding that traffic for the event could still need some work for future events.
Brumbalow said that beyond Fridays at the Fairgrounds and Food Truck Fridays, the city has a host of other events planned in the upcoming year to help give people that fun community outlet.
“We want to bring our community together, we want to bring people out to enjoy our community,” he said, explaining that they have large city celebration events planned for Fourth of July, Christmas, New Year’s and even music festivals and other community events.
“We have some neat things on the horizon, and we just think it’s going to grow and grow,” he said.