JONESBORO — It was a happy Hump Day in downtown Jonesboro as hundreds of people lined up to satisfy their foodie drive at the first Food Truck Wednesday.
The event is part of the city’s plan to attract people to its new Arts and Entertainment District, which takes up most of downtown Jonesboro.
The hardest of the hardcore began lining up in 27-degree temperatures at 8:30 Wednesday morning for the Slutty Vegan food truck.
“How many of y’all are here just for Slutty Vegan?”
A couple of dozen people at the end of a very long line held up their hands.
When asked if they follow the truck, which posts a new location daily on social media, people said no, they live here and were excited that metro Atlanta’s food-truck rock star was coming down to Clayton County.
Devin Brown is a California speech therapist and Clayton State graduate who’s in town visiting his mother. He and his Kappa Alpha Psi brothers Everson and Armand decided to meet up. “His girlfriend sent me a message and said that the truck would be out here on the Southside,” he said. “I’d been planning to visit Atlanta, but once I heard they were coming down to the south, I was like, ‘I’ll just come out here.’”
It’s a recurring theme lately in the Southern Crescent: food trucks in Jonesboro and Forest Park, a dog park in Morrow. People who live here are happy they’re finally getting the amenities they usually drive into Atlanta proper to enjoy — without the long commute, the traffic and the gasoline.
“You don’t want to get stuck in traffic, then stand in line and then get stuck in traffic again,” he said, turning to a woman named Sharon. “This is my Uber driver!”
Sharon lives in Henry County. “I used to work in Philly for years, and every corner had a food truck,” she said. “Anything you wanted. International. Chinese, Japanese, whatever you wanted.”
The response was so overwhelming, Slutty Vegan sold out completely around 1 p.m.
Business was a little less brisk for the Kona Ice truck, but the tropical snow seemed fit for the sub-freezing day, with flavors like Tiger’s Blood, mango, coconut and blueberry adding sweetness to the day.
“This is a great way to kick off our new arts and entertainment district,” enthused Jonesboro City Manager Ricky Clark, Jr. Others who dropped by included Superior Court Judge Kathryn Powers, Police Chief Cliff Kelker, Sgt. E. Bradshaw, Clayton County Board of Commissioners Chair Jeff Turner and Chief Operating Officer Detrick Stanford.
The food trucks are part of the city’s plan to breathe new life into the downtown district. Most people got word of the event from an e-mail blast.
“We usually go to Alpharetta,” said Lashon Israel of Riverdale, who along with her homeschooled children Chloe, 11; Kaqai, 15; and Asher, 13, took some time to enjoy dirty nachos, Kona Ice and a chipotle chicken sandwich. “They had it a lot on Thursdays when it warms up. It was a drive, though. So just to be able to come, literally, like seven minutes? Can you imagine when it warms up if this is still here?” she said.
It will be. Food Truck Wednesday will happen each week through September from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
People were still in line at 3:30 p.m. this first day.
Kaqai pronounced the event a success. “It’s pretty good and I am now twice as full as I already am.”