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Viewpoint: Food Truck Festival a success, more events ahead

Logan Martin is the Rosemount city administrator.

This week city staff is celebrating the success of what is sure to become Rosemount's newest tradition of community celebrations: the Food Truck Festival that took place last weekend.

In the first few hours on social media, we received so much positive feedback about this event. People seemed upbeat about the chance to get out in almost-perfect fall weather and try new tastes. We even saw some hardy kids that evening who took advantage of the splash pad on its last weekend in operation for the year.

It sounds as if almost everyone found something to eat and enjoy from the 11 food trucks at Central Park. Crowds began building in the first half-hour of the event, and the picnic tables set up in the semicircle of food trucks were constantly in use. One person commented that the lines were long, but it was a great time to talk with people from her neighborhood.

That almost perfectly summarizes Rosemount City Council's goal for this and other events that the city helps produce. The council's vision is to keep residents close to home, spending time and having fun within Rosemount. It strengthens the bonds of community. Those stronger bonds make it possible to achieve more to support our civic projects and our business community.

We owe great thanks to the Parks and Recreation Department for taking on this new responsibility. They want to grow this event for next year. This week, they are collecting feedback from food truck operators, staff who worked the event, and people who attended to look for ways to improve this early success. (We'd appreciate your views via our email address, comment@ci.rosemount.mn.us.)

So we feel good about this first Food Truck Festival, but we can't rest on our laurels. The city will be busy next month supporting the volunteer committee that stages the Haunted Woods Trail. This year's will be Saturday, Oct. 27, the weekend before Halloween. That event in Central Park has become a major draw not just for our families but also for visitors to Rosemount.

Then on the night of Saturday, Nov. 17, we will have our holiday tree lighting ceremony. It will return to the Steeple Center after last year's fabulous event outside the Rosemount Community Center, which also served as the send off for the Rosemount High School Marching Band on its way to the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. We may not have the whole band this time, but we'll have plenty of music to put you in the mood of the season.

And finally, if you attended this weekend's festival, you may have seen the banner promoting our second Rosemount Home and Business Expo. As I mentioned last month, it is already set for Saturday, March 16. Our community development staff has begun to contact businesses and civic groups to take part. Please reach out if your organization would like to join in.

We're convinced that one of the ways we can take advantage of Rosemount's growth that will benefit both recent and longtime residents is to organize more events like these. Please take advantage of these events to join your neighbors throughout the year. It's what makes for a vibrant community.

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