They gather each Friday evening through the spring, summer, and fall at the Sprint Pavilion on the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville. Families with kids in tow, high school and college students, young professionals, and retirees—they grab a chair under the Pavilion’s large canopy, or spread out blankets and set up lawn chairs on the grass that surrounds it, marking the end of the week by sharing food, drink, and music in the community of their friends and neighbors.
This is Fridays After Five, a weekly ritual that Kurt Burkhart especially enjoys. As executive director of the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau, Kurt has watched Fridays After Five come into its own in recent years, its festive atmosphere created by local musicians, the community, and a host of local vendors, including a robust roster of food trucks.
Kurt is immersed in the city’s culinary identity, one that in recent years has grown to include a healthy dose of food trucks. “As in other cities and towns throughout America, the growing food truck phenomenon has created another option for discerning diners who, for a host of reasons, may opt for the ‘street experience,’” he says. Kurt feels that the addition of food trucks has enriched Fridays After Five, which takes place right outside his office at the Downtown Visitors Center. “They bring their unique offerings to a slice of the population that wants this on-site experience, on the fly, that’s both affordable and delicious,” he says.
In Our Local Commons, Vol. III, Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau sponsored Food Truck Love, a story about the city’s thriving food truck scene. One of the featured trucks, A Taste of Home Southern Cuisine, is helmed by Yolunda Harrell, who is also a member of the CACVB board. Order the book today to learn more about her story!