We’ve heard it called a “rite of passage” for Durhamites and visitors alike: our awesome rain or shine FOOD TRUCK RODEOS. They only happen five times a year: the winter rodeo in January, spring rodeo (usually when the clocks spring forward), Father’s Day, Labor Day weekend and Halloween weekend. All you have to pay for is your choice of food or beverage from 50+ local food, beer, cider and wine entrepreneurs. Here’s the line up, or check out the map. If you love LIVE music, Counterclockwise String Band begins three sets of progressive Bluegrass, Americana and string band music at 12:30 p.m.
Durham Central Park
The Rickhouse, an event space (and our neighbor, just a block up Foster Street) is hosting PickleFest Sunday, July 31, 12-4 p.m. It’s a tasting of the tangy, fermented deliciousness that is pickled food! Proceeds benefit DURHAM CENTRAL PARK, and it occurs in two sessions to help manage the crowd. Tickets $5 general admin; $15 VIP. Participating Vendors include:
Oval Park Grille
Green River Picklers
Two Chicks Farm
Haw River Farmhouse Ales
BLOODY MARY BAR SPONSORED BY TITO’S VODKA
Hail Mary Bloody Mary Mix
Durham Farmer’s Market
Eat, Write, Go Blog
Putting up with Erin Blog
Our Annual Childrens’ Independence Day Parade is Monday!
This parade is one of our longest running events at the Park. Every year, on the 4th of July, we look forward to providing a fun and free event for the community. Starting at 9:30 a.m., the Scrap Exchange will be on hand to with supplies to help kids get decorated for the parade. Bring your bike, trike, big wheels, scooter, stroller, wagon or just decorate yourself! We’ll provide lots of balloons too.The parade starts at 10:30 a.m.. We will wind through the Park and over the bridge. Once we are done parading, there will be free popsicles and fire engine tours for all. DJ Piddipat will be providing the music.
Below are a few highlight from past parades! We hope to see you there.
FREE Tai Chi classes are taught in Durham Central Park at 10:15 a.m. each Saturday morning. This is a guest blog entry from instructor Ashton Richards:
Due to the snow storm, our January 24 Winter Food Truck Rodeo has been postponed to January 31. Please help us spread the word–see you there! http://durhamcentralpark.org/events/food-truck-rodeo-info/
It’s been another great year for Durham Central Park and our year-end Cardinal Campaign is in full swing.
DCP, Inc. is a non-profit organization that develops, maintains and sustains this 5 acre urban park in the heart of downtown Durham. Though the land is owned by the city, we receive no public funds from the city or county. Our efforts are financially supported in three ways: rental fees, fundraising events such as Meals from the Market & Food Truck Rodeos, and donations through the Cardinal Campaign!
We are committed to maintaining a beautiful, welcoming green space for the entire Durham community and the city’s many visitors to enjoy. In order to do so, we use our funds to maintain the Pavilion and the gardens, pay our staff, host events that are free and open to the public, add features and upgrade facilities.
This year, we celebrated Mt. Merrill’s first anniversary! We have added shades to help keep the slides form getting too hot in the summer. In the coming weeks, we will be installing a new fence over the creek and benches designed by local artist, Al Frega. There are some major Park improvements in the works for 2016, including a walkway to connect Rigsbee Ave and Foster St., additional seating and shade, art installations, and a water fountain near Mt. Merrill.
To keep up this momentum, we need your support. Please consider making a year-end gift to DCP in one of the following ways:
- Donate to the Cardinal Campaign through our website durhamcentralpark.org/donate or by mailing a check to PO Box 1526, Durham NC 27702
- Donate through the Indy Give!Guide (give.indyweek.com) and get some great incentives from Beer Durham and Cocoa Cinnamon
- Donate stocks, mutual funds, or securities to DCP by referencing the following info: Send to: Charles Schwab, DCT #0164, Acct#5986 5806
See you at the Park!
ONLINE application now available for our Nov. 1 Food Truck Rodeo! Durham Central Park has been hosting Food Truck Rodeos since 2010.
We hold 5 rodeos a year that feature over 50 local food trucks and draw in thousands of eaters from all over the area. Our rodeos highlight local food vendors from the Triangle that are MOBILE… ALL vendors must prepare the foods themselves and serve it out of a truck, trailer, minivan, cart, trike or bike!
We just put tickets on sale for our biggest fundraiser event of the year: the 10th annual Meals from the Market. http://durhamcentralpark.org/events/meals-from-the-market/2015-meals/ Let meals like the Oktoberfest themed “The Best of the Wurst” and “Gluten Free and Me” spice up your routine while you help Durham Central Park.
Meals from the Market is a series of meals from August to November that Durham Central Park enthusiasts offer to host at their home, restaurant or other venue. Meals have different themes and numbers of attendees but are huge fun. All the meals are donated by the hosts and the proceeds from ticket sales go straight to Durham Central Park, Inc.
8/31: Biker Bar NC Meal
9/19: Best of the Wurst
9/20: Tea and Tunes at the Escher Amphitheater
9/21: Pasta, Pizza, Lambrusco and Gelato
9/26: Gluten Free and Me
9/27: Trucks From The Market!
9/27: Carrots, Carats, Karats: Sustainable Food, Sustainable Jewelry
9/30: Esperanza’s Mexican Mole and More!
10/3: Sunset at the Kress – Local and Coastal Splendor
10/3: Cranford Crawl
10/4: An Italian Feast to Warm the Heart
10/4: Shut Up and Dance!
10/8: A San Sebastian Evening in Downtown Durham
10/18: Owner’s Suite Brunch atop the 21c Museum and Hotel
10/22: Local Vocal
10/24: Summer Dinner in the Community
10/29: Selections from the Seven Seas at Five Points
11/5: An Evening with Shana Tucker at Cassilhaus
Trucks from the Market, September 27, is similar to DCP’s wildly successful Food Truck Rodeos, but with only 125 tickets available, it is a much more intimate experience. Tickets are $50 and sharing a ticket between 2 or more people is highly encouraged.
Change and growth are happening around Durham Central Park (DCP). Apartments and retail are being constructed where the old Liberty Warehouse once stood and condominiums are proposed at 539 Foster Street – at the north end of the park. Over the next few years, there will be lots of construction adjacent to the Park and there will be some changes within the Park as well. The Park’s new neighbors have committed to make agreed upon improvements within the Park. These changes will include the construction of many features, which have been in DCP’s master plan for a long time, including additional paths, more seating and shade, and nicer entrances to the Park. These elements will enhance the beauty and usability of the Park and it will continue to be an open and welcoming space for all residents of Durham.
However, these improvements will come at a cost. Construction around the Park in the coming months and years will create noise, confusion, and inconvenience. The Durham Farmers’ Market will continue to operate, and DCP will continue to host concerts, movies, and other events. These activities will all take place beside barricades and construction fences. Traffic and parking will be disrupted.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Here is a sample of what Durham Central Park lovers will get in return:
- A landscaped berm built up against the side of the 539 condo building, facing the Pavilion adding shade and much needed seating to that area of the Park
- A replanted Sister City Grove
- A new drainage system, which will make the now-soggy play field north of the Pavilion playable.
- An extension of the bike/trail sidewalk from the Grace Garden to Corporation Street.
- Attractive entryways to the Park at Corporation Street and near Broadway Street
- A long-dreamed-of walkway between Rigsbee and Foster Streets
While it is nice that our new neighbors are willing to pitch in money and labor to make these improvements, the Park wouldn’t be what it is now without the hundreds of volunteers who have rolled up their sleeves and gotten their hands dirty to create the Park we see today. Many in our community do not realize that Durham Central Park is not operated by the city. The City of Durham owns the land, but Durham Central Park, Inc, a non-profit, manages the space without funds from the city. The organization is run by a volunteer Board of Directors and is supported by hundreds of volunteers who helped to get the ball rolling years ago to organize the public design meetings that envisioned the park, campaigned to pass the bond for the purchase of land, cleared rocks, planted flowers, built walkways, sought donations and grants to build the Pavilion for the Durham Farmers’ Market, the “Leaf” shade structure, and most recently the “Mount Merrill” play area, and helped to bring the Skate Park to DCP. The non-profit Durham Central Park, Inc. and the City of Durham have partnered to create not just a park, but also a community space that is embraced by thousands.
This past year, as developments along our boundaries have been proposed, the City Manager’s Office has recognized the thousands of hours and many thousands of dollars that Durham community members have contributed to make the Park such an appealing destination. The City Manager asked the DCP volunteer Board to meet with prospective developers to make recommendations for our shared property lines so that the long-range vision of DCP remained intact. Our focus in these discussions has been how best to assimilate the edges of these new buildings with our green space. An art wall on the Liberty Warehouse and terraced seating on 539 Foster will go a long way to blend our neighbor’s projects with our Park. The developers recognize the value of the Park, and they want to help enhance it. We welcome these new partners in our efforts to complete the long-envisioned master plan.
DCP, Inc. board members and volunteers recognize our responsibility as stewards of the Park. The community’s sense of ownership is the Park’s greatest asset. We welcome your input and feedback. (Feel free to contact Erin Kauffman, our Executive Director, or any of our board members, listed on our website.) These new opportunities to improve the Park are exciting, but not without bumps along the way. We pledge to do our best to keep the community informed and the Park functioning, and we look forward to a greatly enhanced Park just a few years down the road.
Erin Kauffman, Executive Director
Morgan Haynes, DCP Board President
Curt Eshelman, DCP Co-Founder