MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Food truck vendors are heading out to five parks in the Myrtle Beach area.
City leaders said it’s an extension of its parks, recreation and tourism initiative to activate parks and get more activity in less-traveled spaces.
The parks involved in the new initiative are Bathsheba Bowen’s Park, Futrell Park, Myrtle’s Market, Savannah’s Playground and Wither’s Swash Park.
The vendors participating in the program are excited to get started.
“The parks will be great because everybody is sweating, everybody’s running around," said Thomas Rizk, the owner of Brazuka Bowls. "There’s not much going on in the parks. You can get a nice, healthy and fresh fruit, so I think it will be awesome.”
Not only is the goal to bring more people out to play and enjoy a meal, the vendors will also help the city by being eyes and ears for any kind of unusual or bad behavior they may see on the job.
“If we see something then we will be able to say something and honestly, we may be more of a proactive deterrent as opposed to reacting to negative things going on in the city," said Drew Basilicato, the owner of Trojan Cow. "It’s just not a good idea to be doing the wrong thing with a crowd of people around having lunch.”
Amber Campbell, a research and development analyst for the city, said studies show having more activity in areas will decrease crimes.
The vendors will act as surveillance for the area and report to the city if they see anything out of the ordinary and will also clean up after guests.
There won’t be any compensation for acting as surveillance, but one vendor said he’s getting many perks from the city by being a part of it.
“This is just more along of the lines of improving the city. Now we make money by selling food so it’s not like we are sacrificing anything," said Basilicato. "The city has actually made a lot of accommodations for us to get to the parks. We don’t have to pay for permits to go to those parks.”
The pilot program is scheduled for March through October of next year. However, some food truck owners hope to get started at the parks sooner. The program will allow vendors at each park from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. for a minimum of two days per week.