The Scene

Infinity Food Truck Fest to be part of a big Saturday in downtown Ottawa

Art in the Park, Kids Expo part of busy day in Ottawa’s business district

Add an abundance of delicious, quickly served food to a collection of artistic renderings, and that’s the better part of a terrific weekend afternoon.

And putting it in downtown Ottawa makes it even more enticing.

The first Infinity Food Truck Festival will be taking place on the Washington Square and the Jordan Block this Saturday, with more than 20 vendors displaying and selling their wares joining the myriad of area artists taking part in the return of the Ottawa Art League’s Art in the Park Fine Art Show and Sale.

“I’m a foodie, and I think most people are,” Infinity event organizer Dylan Conmy said. “There’s been a lot of talk about food trucks both good and bad in this area, but most people get excited and are supportive of them. Since Streator has had such great luck with it, we thought we’d bring a great sampling of food to Ottawa.

“We’re excited to be paired up with the Art in the Park. … With the Starved Rock Regional Center’s Celebration Kids Expo also going on, there will be a triple threat in the downtown area on Saturday, and we hope to see a great crowd at all of them.”

The food festival, which will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., will include different dining specialties, plus live music on the Jordan Block by Midnight Sun from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and The Bell Rangers from 2 to 5 p.m.

Among the 21 food trucks – the bulk of which will be on the Jordan Block, although others will be spread throughout the downtown area, including four around Washington Square – will be Yim Curry, Mamita’s Tacos, Sheila’s Eggrolls, Sizz and Fizz, Chef B’s, Slow Spark BBQ, Big D’s Hot Dogs, Shroom Shack, Down The Rhodes, Little O’s Frozen Treats, T’s Food Shack, Fat Jeff’s BBQ, La Michoacana of Ottawa, Drew’s Dogs, La Cocina de Irene, Ole Folks BBQ, Cousins Maine Lobster, Ottawa Tropical Sno, Chow Haul Smokehouse, Tone Capones Tacos and Big Al’s.

The food trucks around Washington Square will remain open until 8 p.m. for the Music in the Park crowd. However, the other trucks will close at 5 p.m. in deference to the dinner hour for downtown restaurants.

There will be a kids chef’s tent, where 12 participants ages 5 to 12 each hour at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. will learn to make fruit pizza. Kids will receive aprons courtesy of SS Shirts and More. Registration on the Infinity Premier Innovations Facebook page is encouraged.

Coincidently, the Starved Rock Regional Center’s Celebration Kids Expo also will be conducted from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the old Central School grounds by the YMCA with bounce houses, a car show, kids crafts, games and other activities.

The city’s farmers market also will be active from its usual 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Jackson Street between La Salle and Columbus.

The Art in the Park Fine Art Show and Sale, since 1967 one of the most revered events in city art circles, returns after a one-year hiatus to run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with dozens of local artists displaying original art – including paintings, graphics, sculptures, photographs, wood, glass, metal, ceramics, jewelry and mixed media – for sale throughout.

Setup for the artists displays is slated from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday and from 7 to 9 a.m. Saturday. Tents can be left up overnight.

“We were invited to come back and take part with the Infinity Food Truck Fest and the Celebration Kids Expo, and we’re happy to be back,” said Adrienne Pike, Ottawa Art League executive board member and event chair. “We have 20 artists signed up, plus Open Space Gallery is going to be having an activities tent, the Kiwanis Club will have ice cream and popsicles, and so much more. … We’re going to a full half of the park, and we’re very excited about it.”