Emily C. Roush
The Ashland Beacon
Boyd County Community and Economic Development, a department of the Boyd County Fiscal Court, and the Boyd County Tourism and Convention Bureau have recently announced an exciting new event set to take place this summer.
The inaugural Boyd County Food Truck Festival will feature food trucks from across the region as well as live music, vendors, and inflatables. The festival will take place on June 27 from 12 to 7 p.m. at the Boyd County Convention and Arts Center located at 15605 State Route 180 in Catlettsburg. Admission to the event will be free.
“The idea of a food truck festival has been floating around for a long time,” said T.J. Morrison, the Director of Boyd Community and Economic Development. “I have been fascinated by food trucks and the following they build in other parts of the country. I knew I wanted to find a way to embrace [them] in our community. [Boyd County Judge Executive Eric] Chaney agreed, and we started with bringing food trucks to the courthouse throughout the week in the summer. Food trucks kept selling out, so I knew we were on to something.”
The success of the food trucks at the courthouse is emblematic of a nationwide trend. These trucks are ubiquitous in municipalities across the country and are the topic of many popular television shows.
Morrison and his colleagues, Project Manager Justin Pruitt and Courtney Gillette, Executive Director of the newly created Boyd County Tourism and Convention Bureau, found success stories of food truck festivals in other communities. They thought this type of event would be a perfect fit in Boyd County.
“We try to all focus on innovative ideas that will better our community,” Morrison noted.
The three deliberated on dates that would likely be the most successful and attract food trucks from around the region.
“We set a date that didn’t interfere with the larger markets within a two-hour window in hopes of drawing trucks from Lexington, Charleston, Columbus, and Cincinnati,” said Morrison. He noted that they are actively reaching out to food trucks in these locations.
“Justin’s phone has been ringing off the hook,” said Morrison. Pruitt welcomes the phone calls and encourages food truck owners to contact him if they are interested in participating.
Although one goal of the Food Truck Festival is to provide a fun event for Boyd County residents, its planners are confident it will also attract tourists and highlight facilities.
“I believe the Food Truck Festival will create a very positive impact in Boyd County,” said Gillette. “We have the opportunity to showcase our Convention and Arts Center to a diverse group of people outside our area who may not know about the venue otherwise.”
The Convention and Arts Center, formerly known as the Boyd County Community Center, was already well known but has recently undergone rebranding aimed at increasing its profile.
“After the substantial growth in 2019, we believe with the new name we will be able to tap into new opportunities for 2020,” added Pruitt.
“In addition to raising awareness about the center, the event expands outside our local community and business owners to draw in new visitors and businesses throughout the tri-state area,” said Gillette. “We’ve already seen a great response from our community upon the announcement of the event, and I’m excited to be a part of the exciting change that’s happening in Boyd County.”
Information and updates about the Boyd County Food Truck Festival will be posted on event’s Facebook page.