By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV
Alex Degraff is a 19-year old resident of Ronceverte who opened a music studio in town last year. Born and raised in the Greenbrier Valley, she wants to see her town thrive.
Alex is a central figure in the Ronceverte’s revitalization efforts, and her latest project is…The Ronceverte Food Truck Festival.
“We don’t really know what we’re doing,” she jokes. “But we like food, we like music, and we like doing community events. This is going to be so much fun!”
Plan to come out this Friday (12pm-9pm) & Saturday (11am-10pm) to experience the first-ever Ronceverte Food Truck Festival. It will consist of a dozen food truck vendors, numerous arts & crafts vendors, multiple live music acts, and games for all ages.
Edgar Avenue will be closed to all motor vehicle traffic for the weekend. You can park by Martin & Jones, along Main Street, or in the lot across from Tri-County Produce. The festival is happening rain or shine.
While the food trucks are the highlight of the event, organizers also have a unique lineup of games. Expect bouncy houses for kids (all day), human foosball (all day), cornhole (all day), and a cookie stacking contest (12pm & 2pm). Additional games are also in the works.
How did this event come together?
Alex says while she’d like to take the credit, it was her dad’s idea originally. She mentioned it to a few folks in town, and then Dan Withrow invited her to attend an Arts & Entertainment Committee meeting.
“It was on the agenda to do a food truck festival,” she remembers. “Dan asked me to spearhead it, I agreed, and we started from scratch.”
Alex also is quick to point to all those who had a hand in making the event happen over the last six months. “Melody Pester, Dan Withrow, Pam Mentz, Mayor Deena Pack, Jay Petry, Josie Renick, and the entire community have just been wonderful in supporting this,” she says.
The event is community-funded this year. Vendors were not asked to pay to participate.
“For the first one, we wanted it to be a learning experience,” Alex explains. “The only way we’ve raised funds is through our raffle, and the community really stepped up.”
More to come this summer
This may be the first food truck festival in Ronceverte’s history, but it won’t be the last. In fact, they have already planned three more events this summer.
On June 16-17 (coinciding with the ALS River Float), July 14-15 (coinciding with the Skyline Music Festival), and August 4-5 you can expect the return of multiple food trucks to Ronceverte for the weekend. They will be located on Edgar Avenue downtown and at the Island Park.
Advice for community leaders?
So what advice does Alex have for other community leaders across West Virginia who want to see their towns blossom?
“Leave plenty of time for your idea to grow. Give yourself and your vendors grace; it won’t be perfect but it needs to be your best effort. Remember why you’re doing it. You’ll get to the point where you think you’re insane, but you’ve got to remember how much it matters.”
For details, visit Ronceverte Food Truck Festival on Facebook.