10th anniversary celebration with music and free food planned for Hillsdale Food Park

On Sunday, Sept. 25, the Hillsdale Food Cart Park will celebrate its 10th anniversary.

On the corner of Southwest Capitol Highway and Sunset Boulevard, the Food Park—complete with five food carts and surrounding red-umbrellaed picnic tables—has become a hub of activity for the Hillsdale community over the past decade.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Don Salamone, proprietor of three Burger Stevens food carts in Portland, first served his highly-praised burgers at the Hillsdale Food Cart Park in Hillsdale. The Food Cart Park is celebrating 10 years in business Sunday, Sept. 25 with a celebration at the food pods. It's not uncommon to see families with baby strollers and dogs in tow. On weekdays, students from Ida B. Wells High School mob the food cart pod at lunchtime. On Sundays, Hillsdale farmers market patrons swing by for lunch under the large trees and to listen to live music on the Josh Kadish Community Stage. Community groups frequently use the setting for private events.

"It gives me pleasure to see the place being used by so many different kinds of people," Food Park owner and creator Richard Stein said. "The vision statement for the place is, 'A place where people of all ages can enjoy delicious food in a beautiful setting.'"

Stein said it fills him with satisfaction to see the diversity in both his visitors and his food cart vendors.

"All our vendors are immigrants and most of them live in the Hillsdale area," he said. "It is [great] to see these incredibly hard-working people being able to make it in their new country."

Stein said early in the pandemic, the food carts were among the few places in Hillsdale to get a prepared meal.

"Business has been growing and growing. I've been here nine years," Jorge Cristobal, owner of Taco City, said. "The pandemic was difficult for everyone, but at least we were able to stay open to make food for our customers."

The 10th anniversary celebration takes place 12 — 4 p.m., with free food, live music and even free wine.

"This is a celebration of the community and of our vendors, and it will be fun for the whole family," Stein said. "Dozens of prizes will be given away, and the music should be great!"

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