Food on the roll
NDstrong to host Minot Food Truck Festival in Oak Park
The sensation that has been sweeping America is rolling into Minot this weekend as NDstrong hosts its first annual Minot Food Truck Festival at Oak Park.
On Sunday, Aug. 27, more than 13 food trucks from Minot and throughout North Dakota will be offering a wide variety of foods, from gourmet waffles and cheesesteaks to ice cream and specialty coffee. Festival goers will also be treated to the Kid Zone, featuring 15 balloon castles, a cornhole tournament, and musical acts throughout the day, ending in a concert by 32 Below. Also, more than 20 vendors will be set up to offer a wide variety of products from makeup and clothing to homemade crafts and antiques.
“This is our first time organizing an event like this,” said NDstrong co-founder and festival organizer Eric Thoemke. “We wanted to offer something unique to Minot as a way to engage our community and to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall.”
A wide variety of musical acts will be performing throughout the day, from folk music and country to punk and rock.
“There should be a little something for everyone. We are fortunate to be able to feature North Dakotan musicians, including local Minot music legend, Rick Watson, and Chuck Suchy from Bismarck, who received a lifetime achievement award from the North Dakota Music Awards in 2015,” Thoemke said. “32 Below is an amazing way to bring an end to the festival and the end to summer.”
This is a full family event, and there will be offerings for children as well as adults. For the children, Moana and Wonder Woman will be available to meet and take pictures, Lolli the Clown will entertain and face painters will be available. Children can practice their disc golf skills at the putting practice area. Escape Point will have an escape room for children and adults to try to get through. Laser tag and jumping castles also will be featured.
“One of the greatest family features will be the 15 jumping castles for kids to go wild in. For $10 each, children can spend all day going crazy,” Thoemke said.
Adults will have an area to relax and enjoy a cold drink. Off the Vine will have a beer garden set up for the over 21 crowd.
“Adults can relax and enjoy a drink in the great outdoors while watching our musical acts perform on stage,” Thoemke said.
The Oak Park Cornhole Tournament, put on by Game Day Games, is open to all ages. This single elimination tournament (best of three matches) guarantees at least four games. There is a limit of 32 teams, and the entrance fee is $40.
Participants can pre-register by calling 922-1215 or register at the door. Sign-in begins at 1 p.m. and the tournament begins at 2 p.m. All proceeds go to support NDstrong. More information can be found on Game Day Games’ Facebook page.
Pride Minot also will be hosting its second annual Water Gun Fight in the park. Participants need only bring an item for the Backpack Buddies Program to join the fight. The water gun fight will be located near the playground area.
Admission to the Food Truck Festival is not included or required to participate in the Water Gun Fight.
Thoemke feels Oak Park is the perfect location to bring an end to summer.
“I’ve been to several festivals and the ones that always struck me the most were those in parks. We felt that Oak Park was the ideal location for us. The new amphitheater works great for bands, the spacing of the park works great for a festival, and, in my opinion, Oak Park is the most beautiful park in Minot,” he said.
All proceeds from the festival go to support NDstrong. NDstrong is an educational media non-profit that focuses on bringing media awareness and film production into schools.
“We teach how media is influential in today’s society and how to use media as a tool for learning,” Thoemke said.
NDstrong teaches students how to use tools on tablets and phones to create films of varying types, and the organization provides an experience using high-end film production equipment in the creation of a film final project.
“Our goal is to engage students in a really unique way, to help them learn in a really fun way, and build a passion in them for creating media projects,” Thoemke said.
NDstrong has worked with many schools over the last two years. Bishop Ryan Elementary School was the first school NDstrong was invited to work with. Over the course of one week, they worked with third-grade students, teaching the students several different film techniques and terminology. This culminated in the production of a seven-minute short film.
“The Championship” is a short film about two competing dodgeball teams and can be viewed on the NDstrong Youtube page.
Since then, NDstrong has worked with several other schools throughout North Dakota and internationally. A school in Iceland saw what they were doing and invited Thoemke and Matthew Moldanado, co-founder of NDstrong, to work in there.
“It was an amazing experience diving into another culture and watching these students explore film” said Thoemke. Thoemke and Moldanado worked with an entire school, primary through secondary. The secondary students wrote the stories, put things together and directed themselves and the younger grades through the film process.
“What was really unique was even though we were working with many students who did not speak English, especially the younger children, through film we were able to build excitement in them and excite them in new ways. It really showed us that when students are engaged, language barriers don’t matter,” Thoemke said.
“We are excited to offer the Food Truck Festival as a great way for the community to have fun and to raise funds so we can continue working in schools,” he said. “There is just something magic that happens when you give a student a camera and let them go with with their creativity.”
Minot Food Truck
Hours: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Cost: Entrance to festival – $5 for adults, $3 for children and students, 4 and younger free.
Cornhole tournament: $40 per team.
Bounce Castles: $10 per child.
Food trucks accept cash and some accept cards. ATM is available.
Food trucks, musical acts, and vendors all day.
See the Minot Food Truck Festival page on Facebook for daily updates and featured food trucks.
Featured Food Trucks
Oscars Ice Cream
3 Little Pigs
Loves Ice Cream
With Room Coffee
Fred’s Chuck Wagon
Cupburrr’n Coffee and Waffles
11 a.m. – Rick Watson
12 p.m. – Chuck Suchy
1 p.m. – Denby Forest
2 p.m. – Famous Faces
3 p.m. – Skeever
4 p.m. – Sons of David
5 p.m. – Lexi Wyman
6 – 8 p.m. – 32 Below