Economic power of veterans and food trucks | Andy Hobbs

What do veterans and food trucks have in common? Both have the power to bolster Federal Way’s community pride and economy.

What do veterans and food trucks have in common? Both have the power to bolster Federal Way’s community pride and economy.

Let’s start with veterans. Next weekend, the second annual “Honoring Our Own” will pay tribute to military servicemen and women. Before the event’s creation, Federal Way lacked a true Veterans Day observance. Kudos to the Kiwanis and Historical Society of Federal Way for filling this cultural void.

Last year’s tribute was soaked in patriotism, history and respect. People of all ages packed the gym at Todd Beamer High School and learned from local veterans.

The establishment of this annual tradition marks a big step toward completing a bigger picture. In the past year, an idea has surfaced for a permanent veterans memorial in Federal Way. Aside from being an appreciated landmark for local veterans, a memorial has the potential to attract visitors to the city’s restaurants and businesses.

That’s why a memorial fits somewhere in the whole downtown economic development puzzle. A key piece to that puzzle is a public attraction that complements the proposed Crystal Palace and arts center projects. It can act as a backdrop for patriotic gatherings, or give visitors something else to do. The idea has gained enough traction to earn mention by Federal Way candidates during the fall campaign season. Let’s start a committee to hunt for grant money and make this idea a reality.

Speaking of enriching Federal Way’s culture and economy, here’s some genuine food for thought. A food truck festival fad is sprouting in several U.S. cities. For example, the Mayor’s Food Truck Fiesta in Tampa, Fla., kicked off last week with a bunch of wheeled restaurants doling out everything from tacos to burgers to sandwiches. A few thousand people flocked to the monthly downtown festival and stood in long lines. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn was inspired by the excitement he experienced at other food truck rallies around the country.

Apparently, some of the brick-and-mortar restaurants are upset about the mobile competition. At the very least, Tampa is creating an opportunity for growth.

“I want to brand Tampa as a hip, cool place to be and this is one way to do it,” Buckhorn told one news station. “They’re serving great food, they’re hiring people, they’re creating microbusinesses. It’s a win-win for everybody.”

In September, Seattle’s Mobile Food Rodeo featured trucks from across the Northwest. With food trucks ripe for picking in this region, Federal Way could explore a festival of its own.

Unlike the Seattle rodeo, Federal Way’s food truck festival should have free admission. Set up the trucks at one of the empty downtown lots, charge the vendors a fee and let them sell what they want. Encourage a range of affordable food options, promote the heck out of the festival and presto — residents and out-of-towners will come play in downtown Federal Way.

And maybe, just maybe, they’ll stay a while.

 


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Opinion

tsr
Domestic violence victims need more housing options

Column: As a result of stay-at-home measures from the pandemic, domestic violence rates have worsened in King County.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
A look at city council races around the region | Roegner

I have been following elections in King County for close to 40… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Election 2021: Closer look at King County races | Roegner

The race for Mayor of Seattle will dominate the regional media, but… Continue reading

Courtesy of Brenda Miller-Meyers
Poem: Let’s Pray Because We Can

Poem submitted by Brenda Miller-Meyers.

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Our economy works when consumers pick winners | Brunell

Poland and America are like two trains passing each other in opposite… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Big-time politics: Redistricting for 2022 elections | Roegner

Based on new census data, which shows Washington state has grown by… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Questions surround vaccine exemptions for state workers | Roegner

With about 4,800 state employees in 24 agencies requesting vaccine exemptions, which… Continue reading

Dr. Jayendrina Singha Ray serves as Faculty of English at Highline College. Her research interests include postcolonial studies, spatial literary studies, British literature, and rhetoric and composition. Prior to teaching in the U.S., she worked as an editor with Routledge and taught English at colleges in India.
What the Afghan wants to say: Arezo’s journey to America | Guest column

In our little Zoom room, I hear my interviewee break into sobs.… Continue reading

Keith Livingston is a longtime Federal Way resident and community observer. He can be reached at keithlivingstondesign@gmail.com.
Diversity and a beacon of hope for Federal Way | Livingston

Diversity has become a “buzzword” used by every city that has a… Continue reading

Most Read