Food Truck Rodeo first-timer? It’s a blast THIS SUNDAY!

Food Truck Rodeo first-timer? That’s great! DO come, it’s a blast! 12:30-4:30 p.m. this Sunday, at Durham Central Park. There’s live music, a DJ, and activities for kids, too. Bring a chair or blanket, ATM is on site and most trucks accept credit cards. We’ll post a map soon to help plot your course between your choice of nearly 60 delicious, affordable, local choices:

Boss Hogs BBQ
American Meltdown
Bandido’s Mexican Cafe
Barone Meatball Company
Big Mikes BBQ

Cakes by Caren
Chai’s Global Street Food
Chez Moi Bakery
Chirba Chirba Dumpling
CJ’s Street Food
Crossroads Kettle Corn
D’Burritos Fresh Mex
Dusty Donuts
Fahsyrah’s Lemonade
Favor Desserts Bakery
Foster’s on the Fly
Gussys Greek
Hibachi Xpress
the Humble Pig
ICED Cupcakes
JAM Soft Serve Ice Cream
JC’s Concessions
Kona Chameleon
Liv’s Food Truck
LoYo On The Go
Manna Concessions
Not Just Icing
Only Burger
Orlando’s Concessions
Parlez-Vous Crepe
Paws 4 Eva
Phat Wrapz
Philly’s Cheesesteaks
Pie Pushers
RedEye Barbeque
Roll Dog Express
Sarges Chef
Stoke and Smoke BBQ
Sunset Slush of North Raleigh
Sweet and Savory Express
Sweet Traditions by LeAne
Sympathy for the Deli
Time-Out Food Truck
Triangle Brewery
Triangle Raw Foods
Valentino’s Food Truck
Virgil’s Jamaica
Will and Pops

2013 Meals from the Market a Huge Success

Over a nine week period we had a total of 19 meals.

Meals ranged from an intimate dinner for 8 to a private food truck rodeo for 135.

Prices ranged from $20 for a chili block party to $100 for gourmet dinner parties.

There were 536 tickets sold for just over $26,800. Best of all, we have many new friends who participated this year for the first time.

Our widely-circulated Meals from the Market booklet attracted ads bringing in additional dollars. After expenses, the 2013 Meals from the Market brought in just over $32,000.00! These dollars will go directly to Durham Central Park, Inc. for managing and developing the wonderful green space in downtown Durham, including the Pavilion at Durham Central Park.

This year we are also proud to report that an additional $612 were earned for fellow non-profit Liberty Arts, the sculpture-casting facility in the heart of the park who co-hosted the eighth annual Pig Pickin’ in the Park.

Enthusiasm for further developing “Wanderland” on the east side of the the park is growing. Plans for the next phase, “Mt. Merrill,” were showcased at the meals and were well received.

It’s fun to enjoy great food and conversation and make the park a better place all at the same time!

Thanks to everyone who participated. We couldn’t continue to make Durham Central Park the wonderful place it is without your help.


Please Welcome, Tess Mangum Ocaña

We are SO PLEASED to announce that we have hired Tess Mangum Ocaña to help DCP get better connected to the community through social media and help with the ever growing activity happening in Durham Central Park!  Over the last ten years, you’ve probably heard of Tess through her involvement in music venues around the Triangle area.  Tess comes to us with TONS of non-profit experience, knowledge and enthusiasm and is already making her mark on our organization.  Read more about her background below.  Welcome to the DCP team, Tess!


Tess is a Durham resident and seventh-generation North Carolinian. Though she grew up in a musical family (her grandmother, Kate Mangum, taught Randy Travis how to play guitar and and great-uncle Homer Briarhopper was fortunate to call Doc Watson a fan), she always felt her role in the family business was behind the scenes. She holds degrees from UNC-CH and the University of Limerick, Ireland. Ocaña served as Concerts Director & Facility Rental Coordinator of The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, from 2002-2012 and developed the critically-acclaimed American Roots Series. A 2012 Indy Arts Award winner, Tess launched her own events, production and promotion company, Sonic Pie Productions in February. She lives with her husband, a citizen of Spain, and their two young, bilingual sons. When not talking, reading, writing or thinking about music, she likes to make a run for the nearest whitewater kayaking spot.

Durham Central Park kicks off $120,000 Mt. Merrill/Wanderland fundraising campaign

From the desk of Ann Alexander, DCP’s Executive Director: Saturday, October 19, marked the unveiling of the plans for Mt. Merrill, the next phase of Durham Central Park’s master plan of Wanderland, a children’s interactive play area on the East side of the park. With help from the Exchange Club of Greater Durham, of which Merrill Davis was a beloved member, and other generous donors, we have already raised around $15K of the $120K needed to build and maintain this wonderful structure for the park!  Hundreds of folks, both old and young, gathered in the drizzle to hear about the plans of the play mound and see drawings of what will be built as the next development phase of DCP.  Mt. Merrill is named after Merrill Davis, a longtime DCP neighbor and supporter of the park who died in a tragic car accident in October of 2012. 

Looking East from Foster Street
Looking East from Foster Street

When we asked in a community survey a few years ago what folks wanted to see more of in DCP, the overwhelming answer was,” MORE PLAY AREAS for children…the climbing turtle and bird are great but we need more!”   So DCP’s board has been busy working with Katherine Gil, landscape architect of Tributary Design and Build, to come up with a unique design that is something the kids will love and will be a great addition to the park. As with all other improvements in the park, DCP gets no funding from the city or county. Instead, they raise money from folks, just like you, who consider the park their own and want to see it grow and prosper!  Since we have unveiled the Mt. Merrill design to the community, DCP’s board has begun the fundraising efforts to raise the $120K that is needed to build Mt. Merrill by seeking donations from community members, organizations and businesses who support the park and its efforts to keep DCP the most vital and fun park in Durham!  Join us in our efforts by clicking the donate button in the upper right hand corner! More photos:

Exchange Club check2

Jimmy Alexander Pig Pickin’ in the Park is this Saturday, Oct. 26

Join a festive evening to co-benefit the Liberty Arts metal artists who continue to maintain their sculpture-casting facility from the southeast corner of Liberty Warehouse in the heart of Durham Central Park. Friends of Liberty Arts, Inc. are firing up the grills at the foundry for the seventh annual Meals from the Market Pig Pickin’ in the Park. In 2011 the event was renamed to honor the memory of Jimmy Alexander, the metal smith who was the original grill master and a dear friend to the DCP, Inc, organization. Great food, music and a good time are in store! In addition to great food, you’ll hear more about Liberty Arts’ Bull City Sculpture Show, with pieces at DCP and all over downtown Durham.
Friends of Liberty Arts, Inc
George Watts Hill Pavilion in Durham Central Park
530 Foster Street, Durham
100 (Families encouraged)
Strictly casual
$25 adults / $10 children under 12

Durham Central Park wins Best Of Durham award!

Thousands of Durham Magazine readers cast votes, and Durham Central Park has been awarded a Silver Medal in the “Best Park” category. We have great things in store for you in 2014. Congratulations to our Gold and Bronze winner friends, West Point on the Eno and Northgate Park. A few categories are covered here, but the rest, including Best Park, are in the brand new FREE October/November issue on stands around town now.

October/November 2013

Mount Merrill “Wanderland” children’s play area design to be unveiled October 19

Creative minds have been at work designing phase one of ‘Wanderland” at Durham Central Park, an interactive children’s play area on the east side of Foster Street. Named Mount Merrill, it is a one of a kind, fabulous addition to downtown Durham.

Volunteers with the Durham Central Park design committee have spent the past year brain storming and working with the DCP master plan.  Proudly, with funds donated to DCP and the Durham Exchange Club, in memory of the late Merrill Davis, they turned the next stage of work over to landscape designer, Katherine Gill of  Tributary Land Design + Build. With the Durham City Manager’s blessings, surveys have been completed, and conceptual drawings have been prepared. The Durham Central Park Board of Directors, along with the Durham Exchange Club, invite you to an informal-formal unveiling of the design and a kick off the fundraising campaign that will enable its construction.

When: Saturday, October 19, 10-11 am
Where: Durham Central Park (East side of Foster Street)

2013 Meals from the Market Tickets Still Available!

Last weekend kicked off the Meals from the Market season with A (delicious) Mediterranean Feast… but don’t worry if you missed it, there are still several upcoming meals with tickets available.

Purchase tickets here!

Coming up this weekend (on Saturday September 21st) is the Meal with a View from the Kress.  This is Amanda’s fifth year to host a meal for DCP in her third floor terrace apartment in the historic Kress Building.  She has an open kitchen/ sitting area which steps out onto a corner terrace that looks east toward the courthouse and south toward DPAC.  The location is thrilling enough, but with a glass of wine and and a delicious meal, it’s truly special.

While many of our meals have sold out, there are tickets available for a remaining few.  This is a great opportunity to eat delicious food, and support your favorite park.

Space is still available for the Ole School Line Dance and Dine Afternoon (Sunday 9/29), Trucks from the Market! (9/29), Local Vocal (10/4), Gourmet and Gluten Free (10/5), Dancing & Deliciousness with ADF and Hummingbird Cafe (10/12), A Lucky 13 Afternoon at Cassilhaus (10/13), Yummy North Street Neighborhood (10/13), Bridge Bicycle Brunch (10/20), Jimmy Alexander Pig Pickin in the Park (10/26).

You can read more about each of these unique (and tasty!) events, and purchase tickets on our Meals from the Market 2013 page. Tickets for the remaining events range from $20 – $100.  Every penny raised helps to support Durham’s vibrant and versatile Central Park.  We hope to share a meal with you!

Meals from the Market 2013 Tickets on Sale Now!

Nineteen generous hosts invite you into their homes and businesses to enjoy farm-fresh food and raise money for DCP. Join the fun and support the Park by purchasing tickets for one—or several!—of our meals held between August 27th and October 26th. Take a look—there are meals for everyone.

Many meals sell out quickly, so make your selections early!

Reservations can be made online or by mailing a reservation check to:

Durham Central Park
PO Box 1526
Durham, NC 27702

Thanks again for supporting the non-profit that is developing and maintaining Durham Central Park!