PHOTO: Another good crowd turned out for the annual Eat the Street event. / Photos by John McBryde
By JOHN McBRYDE
The way the skies were looking late Friday afternoon, it appeared the Eat the Street event at Bicentennial Park in Franklin could see some soggy tacos, grilled cheese sandwiches and lobster rolls.
But within a couple of hours after that rainy threat, the crowds were gathering happy and hungry — and dry — for the eighth annual Eat the Street food truck festival benefiting the 21st District Recovery Court. More than 30 food trucks were lined up and down Third Avenue serving everything from macaroni and cheese to ice cream.
“It’s obviously a huge crowd,” said Jeff Moseley, 21st District Recovery Court board president and 2019 Eat the Street event chair. “Everybody seems to be doing good business. Of course, the Grilled Cheeserie gets lots of action as does the Cousins Maine Lobster. One that’s back for a second year and doing a big business is Dan’s Mac Attack.”
Eat the Street is the main fundraiser for the Recovery Court, which is an alternative sentencing program in the 21st Judicial District that affords local nonviolent offenders who suffer from addiction issues the opportunity to complete an intensive two-year, court-supervised recovery program instead of or in addition to traditional sentences.
“Recovery Court is still going strong, and the need is even stronger than ever,” Moseley said. “The opioid epidemic has even come to Williamson County unfortunately, so we’ve got more people than we can actually serve at this point.
“We’ve got a little over 60 participants that go through the two-year program that hopefully helps break the cycle of incarceration and crime. Everybody we can keep out of incarceration saves the government about $30,000 on an annual basis.”
From event sponsors, fees from the food trucks and donations through the night, 21st District Recovery Court officials deem Eat the Street a success year after year.
“Everybody seems happy,” Moseley said as he observed all the hustle and bustle. “We’ve got music, we’ve got big crowds and we’re hoping to raise a significant amount of money to help us out.”