WILKES-BARRE — Food trucks can be hard to catch in the wild; hunting the elusive eateries is part-luck and part-Internet savvy, but on Friday, June 24, a herd of mobile meal trucks is scheduled to graze just off the Susquehanna at Nesbitt Park.
Arranged as a kickoff for Riverfest 2016, the city’s second Riverfront Food Truck Rally will run from 5 to 10 p.m. and will feature more than eight trucks, including The Sweet Lush Cupcakery from Dunmore, Wilkes-Barre’s Triple S Gourmet Food Truck and The Wandering Chef, operated by rally organizer Mike Raub.
In addition to the trucks, the event will feature live music, vendors, balloon animals, face painting and Wilkes-Barre YMCA’s Imagination Playground.
“It’s a really cool setup for children to build things and create stuff,” Raub said. “They have these really big foam blocks that they can create whatever they’d like to do and there’ll be some staff over there teaching the kids how to use it and showing them what they can do with it.”
Some proceeds from the rally benefit Kingston cancer clinic Medical Oncology Associates of Wyoming Valley; specifically, the organization’s Prescription Assistance Fund, a non-profit that helps around 25 patients a month with costs incurred while fighting cancer.
“We don’t just provide help with prescription drugs, we also help patients pay their insurance premiums who are unable to work, we help purchase durable medical equipment, we help patients pay for transportation if they need to go out of the house, we pay for dietary supplements,” said Medical Oncology Associates Office Manager Edie Kozicki.
Riverfront Parks Committee Executive Director John Maday said kayaks launching from West Pittston will come to shore near the rally around 7 p.m., and “PA Outdoor Life” television personality Rick Koval will be on-hand with a reptile and amphibian presentation. Maday also said there will be a public mural that attendees can help paint and encouraged artists to visit Nesbitt Park June 24.
“We’re encouraging artists to attend so they can do some sketching and painting and get a whole new perspective on art, encouraging us to be inspired by the art of the river, what’s possible on the river from an artist’s perspective,” Maday said.
As far as the food trucks are concerned, Raub said they’ll be better prepared for a substantial crowd than they were last September. The Wandering Chef and other trucks plan to counter the long lines seen at the River Commons food truck rally by offering smaller portions that cook faster — and give patrons the chance to try more dishes before tapping out.
“We don’t want people to not come because there was a line last time,” Raub said. “We want them to know that we’ve made that adjustment and we’ve learned from it and we’re ready to bring even more people over to the riverfront.”
For more information about the Riverfest edition of the Riverfront Food Truck Rally, visit Facebook.com/TheWanderingChefPA or call 570-266-6958.
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts