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Thursday night food for thought

The second anniversary of the Thursday Night Food Trucks that set up once a week outside Masterton’s town hall was recently celebrated, and the instigator of the initiative says it’s still going strong.

The event, which runs from 4.30pm to 7pm, was created in response to covid-19 restrictions that prevented cafes and restaurants from operating as normal but allowed for “a small street market that could be set up on a large outdoor space”.

Organiser Adele Bentley said the food trucks bring people together and offer a change to the usual cuisine found at most local eateries.

“Recently, we have been getting between 200 and 300 people coming to the trucks,” she said.

“People tend to hang about more in the summer as opposed to the winter.

“We have got lots of regulars who have been coming from day one, and it is just a really good event in the community.”

The setup features a mix of different food vendors, from burgers to barbecue and crepes to real fruit ice cream.

The Thursday night stop in Masterton isn’t the only place the food trucks pop up in the region – they also set up at Carrington Park in Carterton every second Friday from 4.30pm to 7pm, while there’s a trip north to Pahiatua’s Harvard Adventure Playground on the fourth Friday of every month.

In addition to the food trucks, there is also live music, along with the Masterton District Council [MDC] Waka Takaro [games/play] trailer, to keep the kids occupied.

In his professional capacity, Steve Rendle is a senior communications advisor for MDC, but performs at the Thursday food truck event in a personal capacity.

“Last week, I started off with a Taylor Swift song just to save people a bit of money,” he said.

“We get the odd person tapping their toe; some people don’t tap anything, and others are quite into it.

“I play a lot of my own stuff, a bit of folky punky stuff.”

Rendle also noted that the game’s trailer is a hit with the kids, keeping them busy while their caregivers order food.

While Rendle and others offer music weekly, Bentley is on the hunt for more people with a variety of entertainment-related skills.

She said that the musicians perform for about a quarter of an hour before being rotated to someone new.

“What that means for our diners to they get to see a different musician or two play while they are at the market,” she said.

“We are, however, on the hunt for more performers as often people are sick or have other commitments.”

Freddie Wilkie
Freddie Wilkie
Freddie Wilkie is a journalist at the Wairarapa Times-Age; originally moving from Christchurch, he is interested in housing stories as well as covering emergencies and crime.

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