Autumn Food Truck Rodeo

Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeos aren’t just a great place to eat great street food, they also support Durham Central Park! These events raise thousands of dollars every year to operate, beautify and improve Durham Central Park. It will be smaller than the old days of 50+ trucks, but our very first rodeo in more than a year and a half is Sunday, November 14, 2021! Entry is free, simply pay for what you eat.

Featured craft beer & cider:
The Glass Jug
Bull City Ciderworks
Burty Bull Brewing
Bull City Burger and Brewery
Featured food trucks:
Epic Vegan
Bull City Eatery
Mesas Food Truck
The Paddy Wagon
Chick N Que
Gussy’s Greek
Jay’s Italian Ice
El Jefecito
Cousins Maine Lobster
Fahsyrah Lemonade
Bruster’s Ice Cream
Bulkogi
Chirba Chirba
The Naked Empanada
Dusty Donuts
Yagg Sii Tenn
Qspresso
Virgil’s Jamaican
Don Taco Y Su Pandilla
How ‘Bout Burger
Goodness Grace Us
Safari Eatz
Baton Rouge Cuisine
Barone Meatball Company
Mr. Wingz & Mrs. Thingz

Durham Central Park Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Friends,

We have been working closely with city officials to determine the best plans for keeping our community safe at Durham Central Park during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, we are following the city and state guidance and all of the scheduled events at Durham Central Park are cancelled through April 10th, including the March 22 Food Truck Rodeo and the Durham Farmers Market. As this is a rapidly evolving situation, we will continue to monitor and follow the leadership of city and state government and keep you posted of any changes.

As of now, Durham Central Park and the parks in the Durham Parks and Rec system are open. You are welcome to take walks, enjoy the sunshine, and smell the flowers. It is a beautiful time of year and in the midst of this uncertainty, enjoying nature in a socially distant and responsible way can help.

If you are a patron of the Durham Farmers’ Market and want to get food from local farmers, sign up for their newsletter. The Durham Farmers’ Market Manager is working with their vendors on ways to connect people with local farmers and vendors for food deliveries at this time. DFM will be sending out information through their newsletter regularly.

We are still working on DCP’s summer event schedule and planning on moving forward with our summertime events. Our next Food Truck Rodeo is scheduled for June 21. Our PLAYlist Concert Series is set to start on June 12 and run every other Friday through September 18. Not to mention, our Children’s Fourth of July parade is still in the works! We’ll share more details about all of these events soon and if anything changes, we’ll let you know.

These next few weeks and months will be a hardship for everyone. Remember to look after your community as you can – your family, friends, neighbors, local businesses and the non-profits that help to make the Durham community vibrant, healthy, connected and safe. We look forward to enjoying the park together very soon.

Warmly,
Erin Kauffman
Durham Central Park Executive Director

ENJOY THESE GARDEN VIEWS AT THE PARK
Left to right (starting in the top left corner): peach blossoms, ipheiondaffodils with a bit of grape hyacinth and hellebore in our Grace Garden.
Need a Breath of Fresh Air? You Can Visit Durham Central Park.
Help Sustain Durham Central Park 

Durham Central Park is a 5-acre park that is managed, developed and programmed by Durham Central Park, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit organization. Our mission is providing space for community. We work hard to provide the community a beautiful, safe, vibrant and welcoming park in downtown Durham. To do all of this, we rely on generous donations from people like you. You can help support and sustain this vital community space through this uncertain time.

Become a friend of the park today. You can support Durham Central Park by:

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How DCP Food Truck Rodeos Became Waste Wise Events

Have you ever thought about all of the trash that can be generated at a food truck rodeo? Fifty or more food trucks and thousands of hungry eaters all in one place can make A LOT of garbage!

Keep Durham Beautiful Helps Out

When we started putting together the food truck rodeos back in 2010, we were overwhelmed by all of the waste that was generated and tried some different strategies to manage it – More trashcans! Bigger dumpster! Adding recycling bins! But, in 2015, everything changed. We started working with Keep Durham Beautiful to turn our high waste generating event into a Waste-Wise one.

Keep Durham Beautiful (KDB) had received a grant to work with large scale events in Durham to reduce waste. Quickly, they identified our Food Truck Rodeos as an event that was in need of a change. KDB helped to create waste stations where food truck rodeo guests can divide their waste into compost, recycling and landfill trash. They supplied signs to help guide people when dividing their trash into the proper bin.

Once the the bins were in order, KDB helped us to work with the trucks to increase the amount of waste generating material that can be composted. With their support, we were able to ban the use of styrofoam at the rodeos and encourage trucks to start using compostable and recyclable service items. With these changes, the amount of trash going to the landfill was drastically reduced. It was exactly the help that we needed!

Most importantly, though, KDB started the Waste Warrior Volunteer Program. The Waste Warriors are a team of volunteers that help staff all of the waste stations during the rodeos. They help guests sort their trash and educate folks about what can be composted and recycled. Often, toward the end of the Rodeo, the Waste Warriors take trash off the trucks and sort it before it goes to the dumpster. The Waste Warriors have contributed hundreds of hours and have been instrumental in making the rodeos waste wise events.

Empty Dumpsters and Happy Eaters

Now that the program is set up and running and Styrofoam has been eliminated, we found that most of the waste generated at the rodeo can be composted. Very little trash heads to landfill, it’s mostly just straws and plastic utensils! Since we started making the rodeos low waste events, we average about 1000 lbs of compostables and 800 lbs of recyclables are  diverted from the landfill at each rodeo. There have been times when, at the end of the rodeo,  the rented dumpster is practically empty!

The support from rodeo guests and food truck owners has been fantastic and really kept our momentum going. Rodeo visitors are used to dividing up their waste and are pretty excited to learn that most of what they throw away during the rodeos is composted. The trucks are happy to support the program and some have made changes in their general practices to make their trucks more waste-conscious every day.

Become a Waste Warrior Volunteer!

We are always looking for more Waste Warrior Volunteers. If you are interested in helping out or you have a service group that would like to join, we love to have you! You can read more about what Waste Warriors do and email [email protected] to sign up for a shift.

 

Our Food Truck Rodeo MAP is ready for Sunday!

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.

ONLINE application now available for our Nov. 1 Food Truck Rodeo!

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!