By SEAN ROWLEY
When spring arrives in Cherokee County, local residents will have a chance to meet with representatives of area businesses to discuss home improvement and landscaping, and enjoy delicious fare.
The Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce and Tahlequah Main Street Association will host the Good Food Festival and Home and Garden Show in Norris Park on April 4-5.
“This event is brand-new, our first ever,” said Drew Haley, TMSA director. “We decided to do this in place of Taste of Tahlequah. We wanted to make some changes and move outside. One of our challenges in Tahlequah is that some of our best restaurants may not have the staff or manpower to have a bunch of people take off and set up somewhere else. So we thought we might bring in food trucks.”
Visitors can learn about any facet of home and garden maintenance and improvement, and food trucks will serve cuisine and refreshments.
“This isn’t funnel cakes and carnival food,” Haley said. “There will be trucks for sushi, Italian, Greek, hamburgers, Vietnamese, a little bit of everything. Right now we have eight trucks signed up, and we are hoping for a couple of more. If we can get 10 or 12, that will be good.”
Vendors will feature products, decor and services and offer ideas for home, garden and yard projects.
“We’ve talked to about 40 different local businesses,” Haley said. “Everyone is very excited. We are still waiting for some applications, but the response has been incredible.”
David Moore, chamber director, said anticipation for the event is high.
“We are talking to people every day and they seem enthusiastic,” Moore said. “We are really pleased with the interest among the vendors and the community at large.”
The food trucks will park in different areas during the lunch hour on April 4 to let locals get a first taste of the food available at the event.
“Some will be at Norris Park,” Haley said. “But some will go to other locations like Tahlequah City Hospital, Walmart, the Cherokee Nation, some of the higher traffic areas. People can have lunch on Friday and come back to the park on Friday night for dinner. The trucks will also be available for lunch and dinner on Saturday.”
The event is free and open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. both days. Among those scheduled to attend are One Degree Landscaping, Andolini’s Pizzeria and In The Raw Sushi.
“We think this was a good idea to tie food with home and garden,” Haley said. “We wanted to schedule it during the first weekend in April, when people begin thinking about home repair, maintenance and spring cleaning.”
Booth space is available for business owners. For inform-ation, visit www.downtowntahlequah.com and click on “Events,” or call the chamber, (918) 456-3742. Entry forms are available on the website.