By Kiri Walton | Buckhead.Patch.com
A year ago, Howard Hsu opened his Atlanta Food Truck Park and 4,000 people came out to have a taste of what has become one of Atlanta’s trendiest places to grab a bite of unique food, gab with friends or take a date.
Now, Hsu is hosting the park’s anniversary celebration, Passport to Flavors, all weekend long. The event was scheduled to begin Thursday afternoon, but was postponed due to inclement weather.
Hsu figures that about 2,000 people will visit the park each day of the Passport to Flavors event for a total of about 6,000 people overall.
Each day is a different tribute to the unique food trucks that have become favorites over the last year, a way to celebrate “the ones that helped us bring the food truck park into existence,” explained Hsu, who also owns and operates the Sweet Auburn Barbecue food truck.
The event will feature unique dishes with international flavors, food truck tastings, live music and entertainment. (A full schedule is included below.)
Opening and running the park hasn’t always been a smooth ride, Hsu said. He spent a lot of the last year “really just figuring it out…building a loyal following and finding out not only what the fans want, but what the food truck owners want.”
“It’s been a learning curve. It’s been interesting and very fun getting to know all the different food truck owners.”
One thing is for certain, Hsu loves his job as director of Atlanta Food Truck Park and who wouldn’t? It’s a job with tons of amazing food, which brings people from all walks of life together in one spot on Howell Mill Road.
“My favorite part has been all the good food. I love meeting all the different people from different backgrounds.”
After all the anniversary fun has concluded, the park will open Tuesday for its regular summer hours: Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday – Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday, 12 to 7 p.m. The park remains closed on Mondays.
The event is free, but you will need to bring cash to pay for food items.
Friday, April 5: “Night of the Dragon” (5 to 9:30 p.m.):
It’s an Asian sensation and celebration with these participating food trucks: Filipino, Viet-Nomie, Sweet Auburn BBQ, Kind of Pops: Thai Tea popsicle, Featured Beverage: Lychee-Spiked Lemonade, Entertainment: Lion & Dragon Dance Performance Troop.
Saturday, April 6: “MasalaFest” (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.):
A taste of India’s street food, sponsored by the MasalaFresh food truck. Dessert table of assorted Indian treats. Featured Beverages: Mango Lassi and Papaya Lassi. Entertainment: Henna tattoo artist, Indian DJ and music
Saturday, April 6: “Island Vibes” (5 to 9 p.m.):
Come on, Mon! This Saturday night, the spotlight is on food trucks offering authentic Caribbean cuisine. Participating trucks include: One Love Jerk Grille, Healthful Essence. Featured Beverage: Island Punch. Entertainment: Live performances by DJ Badd Street.
Sunday, April 7: “World Beats: Family Day” (12 to 7 p.m.):
It’s a family-inspired food truck festival with cooking demonstrations and tastings, face painting, inflatables and more! Featured Beverage: Blueberry Lemonade & Mint Tea. Entertainment: DJ Rasyrious & The CatDaddies.
The Atlanta Food Truck Park & Market, Atlanta’s first permanent street food park, is located on a three-acre lot at 1850 Howell Mill Road.