Elizabethton, TN

First Friday Not Total Washout in Elizabethton for Food Truck Competition

John M. Dabbs

Quiet setup before the storms.JOHN DABBS/Photographer

First Friday Downtown Elizabethton

First Friday event in Elizabethton, Tennessee Friday night, May 6, was anything but a washout, despite the downpours. Even with a few of the food trucks not showing due to weather, five food trucks and two local eateries participated in the Food Truck Competition. Jennifer Greenwell of Carter County Bank, a division of the Bank of Tennessee, said it was a success.

Greenwell sent notifications to all food truck vendors Friday morning to announce the relocation of the event from the Covered Bridge Park to Elk Avenue, where food truck vendors could set up along the street and serve patrons who could seek shelter under the awnings along the city's street. This was a very good move and allowed people the chance to visit the businesses and food trucks in during the heavy downpours occurring Friday evening.

Food truck competition

Patrons were able to choose from several area food trucks and eateries situated near Elk Avenue Friday night. Shane’s Place, Spicy Chicken Mobile Kitchen, and Backdraft BBQ were situated near the bank and pharmacy on Elk, with Woodfired Pizza, Jiggy Ray’s, and Big Dan’s BBQ filling in the gaps. With some of the food trucks cancelling or not showing due to the weather forecast, a couple of local restaurants -and local favorites- were included in the mix.

The crowds were hesitant, and came in waves in between the storms in Elizabethton, but the people came out to try something different. Judging of the food entries for the food truck contest began at 5:30 p.m. and continued until all entries were taste-tested by the Carter County Bank’s tasting experts from around the county.

Categories were judged with a secret ingredient required to be used by all, like the Food Network’s “Chopped.” Categories included:

  • Best Main Dish
  • Most Unique Ingredient of Flavor
  • Best Overall
  • Best Use of the Secret Ingredient

I’m still awaiting final confirmation from Jennifer Greenwell, Public Relations and Event Manager for Carter County Bank/Bank of Tennessee. From the signs posted and photos captured, here is what we were able to discern as of 8:00 p.m. Friday, just after the second wave of storms.

  • Judge's Choice – Shane’s Place
  • Best Snack Food – Backdraft BBQ
  • Most Unique Flavor – Spicy Chicken Mobile Kitchen
Judge's Choice AwardJOHN DABBS/Photographer

Most Unique Flavor AwardJOHN DABBS/Photographer

Best Snack Food AwardJOHN DABBS/Photographer

There were other designations awarded to the other participants, but as of press time I’ve not been able to get clarification or the names of the judges. I will report this or update this article as the information becomes available.

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An outdoor enthusiast with a passion for travel and adventure, John is a consultant and writer..

Bristol, TN

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