Rocky Mount, NC: Food trucks tempt local taste buds

Jesonya Whitfield, left, and Veronica Williams wave to friends as they enjoy chicken wings and shrimp on Saturday during the inaugural Downtown Rocky Mount Food Truck Invasion at the Rocky Mount Event Center.

By Amelia Harper  |  Rocky Mount Telegram

The road in front of the Rocky Mount Event Center was filled with people in search of food Saturday evening as the first Downtown Rocky Mount Food Truck Invasion took place.

The event, which was sponsored by the City of Rocky Mount’s Community and Business Development Department, was held on Northeast Main Street between Thomas and Goldleaf streets on the historic Douglas Block.

Roughly 20 food trucks were at the event representing a wide variety of tastes, ranging from ribs and tacos to Southern cuisine and Cuban and Latino fusion cooking.

An on-site beer garden was set up for people who wanted to sample the craft beers on tap.

Armani Ockimey was at the Food Truck Invasion with her toddler daughter Legend enjoying a tempting plate of crab, shrimp, corn and potatoes from Crab King.

“They gave me a lot of food. This is really good,” Ockimey said.

Alexis Manley, who was attending the event with her, also said she was enjoying the event, but she had some suggestions for improving it.

“They need to do this more often,” Manley said. “They also need more food trucks and more variety. One of the things they are missing is sweets. There are not many desserts here. They also need a place that sells roasted corn like they do at the fair.”

The Food Truck Invasion featured more than food sampling opportunities. There were several vendors at the event as well, selling wares ranging from kettle corn to fashions.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee DJ Terminator X entertained the crowd with music. Some of the more adventurous participants joined in by dancing.

Face painting, henna tattoos, a coloring station and a balloon artist also were available to provide entertainment for children.

While most of the events were held outside the Rocky Mount Event Center, some events were held inside. There also was open play in the game room during the event.

Christian Cosme said the Food Truck Invasion introduced him to the Event Center. Cosme was enjoying a cheesesteak and seasoned fries from the Mr. Cheesesteak truck.

“I didn’t know there was an arcade and all that in this event center until today,” Cosme said. “I moved to Rocky Mount about a year ago and this is my first time here.”

The Rocky Mount Event Center opened roughly a year ago on Oct. 25, 2018.