Thousands flocked to Main Street in Mount Airy to get a little taste of a wide selection of foods and drinks on Sunday.
Mount Airy Downtown Inc. hosted the city’s first Mayberry Food Truck Fest that afternoon, and by all accounts the event was a hit.
Though it began at noon, Mount Airy Downtown coordinator Lizzie Morrison said a crowd began to gather in the downtown area in the late morning hours in anticipation of the opening.
The festival, which is something Morrison plans to make an annual gathering, brought more than 20 food trucks from as far away as West Virginia to downtown Mount Airy. They lined Main Street and portions of Oak Street, Moore Street and Franklin Street, and they offered a wide range of fare.
Additionally, the Will Jones Band provided entertainment from a mobile stage positioned at the intersection of Main Street and Oak Street. The band played until the festival was over at 5 p.m., and even in the pouring rain Mother Nature offered Sunday afternoon, many took the opportunity to dance in the streets.
Skull Camp Brewery was on hand serving beer and wine. Carolina Brewery offered a selection of four or five craft brews, and Herrera Vineyards was serving wine at the event.
Morrison said beer and wine sales was how her organization made money at the event. Mount Airy Downtown sold commemorative plastic cups for $5 each. Before one could purchase beer or wine, he or she had to purchase a cup and a wristband. The group also will receive 10 percent of all alcohol sales.
Morrison had hoped her organization might “break even” on the event, but she was pleasantly surprised at how it was received.
She said her organization had no final numbers, but more than 1,000 beer cups were sold. That stated, the event wasn’t all about raising money — the positive effects it had on the downtown business community were what the downtown coordinator opted to tout.
“We estimate there were about 15,000 people who attended the event,” said Morrison. “It also attracted a new demographic to downtown. Many of these foodies will travel hours for a food truck festival.”
She said the event was held on Sunday so it would not negatively impact businesses by closing Main Street on a Saturday, and most businesses that were open Sunday ended up seeing increased sales on the day of the festival.
Though the band hung up their instruments and the food trucks started shutting their doors, the end of the festival didn’t spell the end of fun for the many people who turned out. Many folks wandered into Old North State Winery at the close of the event, and others took the opportunity to wander through shops on Main Street.
“All of the local businesses, and even the restaurants I have talked to, did really, really well,” explained Morrison. “Old North State, for instance, was just outside the festival boundaries, and they were packed the entire day.”
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.