In the mood for deep fried Oreos topped with powdered sugar and chocolate drizzle?
Perhaps asada fries, Hawaiian-style food, a veggie melt, tri-tip, or keto tacos are more your style.
Mark Monday, Oct. 21, on your calendar to try those items and much more during the Food Truck Takeover event designed to launch Library Park as Manteca’s food truck court.
The event Monday is a kickoff for what is designed to eventually be a place where you can go on a daily basis to dine from food trucks in Manteca.
The Food Truck Takeover from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. will feature the Mike Torres Jr. Band from 6 to 8 p.m., arts and crafts for kids, family games and multiple food trucks.
Toni Lungren of the Manteca Parks & Recreation Department indicated people should feel free to bring their own chairs to sit beneath the stately sycamore oaks or a blanket to spread out on the grass while listening to the music and enjoying the evening.
Modeled after other food courts including the one in downtown Modesto near the train station, the Manteca Food Court will set a new standard with shade trees, picnic tables, two playground areas, and restrooms. Food trucks will line up on Poplar Avenue to the west of the Manteca Library along the grassy promenade that passes four of the six murals that grace Library Park.
The beer garden being arranged through the efforts of the Manteca Chamber of Commerce will be in the main part of Library Park along with the band.
Councilman Gary Singh, who led the charge for the food court, said it is designed not just to meet community requests for food truck dining but to help bolster downtown and get more community use out of Library Park that more than a decade ago went through a $1.4 million expansion and upgrade.
By creating one spot where food trucks can go on a daily basis it will allow the public to do “one stop shopping” for food trucks instead of driving around town to see if any have set up shop. It will also benefit food trucks as potential customers will only need to go to one location.
Unlike the once-a-month on Sundays Food Truck Mania that the recreation department staged for five months at Woodward Park in 2016, the Library Park Food Court is designed to be a daily occurrence.
The initial food truck event back in 2016 lured in excess of 5,000 people. Subsequent mania events brought between 1,000 and 2,000 people each time.
“It will help bring more dining options downtown,” Singh said.
Singh also noted the increased activity will also help bolster downtown.
Lungren said food trucks are being recruited to stage at Library Park on an ongoing basis through the efforts of local promoter Chris McConnell.
The council unanimously in August asked staff to launch the food truck concept at Library Park on a trial basis of six months or so.
And if it is successful, Singh can see it being not only a permanent feature at Library Park in the central part of the city but also as a template for food courts in Manteca’s four quadrants.
The food court will operate within the hours that Library Park is open to the public
Library Park has permanent restrooms — something the food court in downtown Modesto doesn’t have — as well as benches and tables with plenty of shades already in place. If the food court turns out to be successful the city could possibly invest in canopies and more seating likely along the grassy promenade. It is not only in the least used area of the park but it is immediately adjacent to Poplar Avenue that dead ends at the entrance to the library parking lot and has room for six to eight food trucks to park along the sidewalk.
In embracing the food truck court concept in August, the council placed on hold a revised food truck ordinance that they instructed staff to work on in January.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org