WELLS, Maine — Congdon’s After Dark, New England’s first daily food truck park, will host twice as many food trucks this season with several improvements to support the large crowds seen in 2018.
The park, which officially opens May 23, launched in 2017 with three food trucks in the parking lot of Congdon’s Doughnuts Family Restaurant & Bakery on Route 1. The park expanded to 14 food trucks in 2018 and added a beer garden. It soon began attracting thousands from around New England.
The success led to an influx of applications from food trucks for the upcoming season, said Congdon’s owner Gary Leech, who is looking forward to offering even more variety.
“When we surveyed guests, the number one request – besides more seating and parking – was more food trucks,” Leech said. “We had a great variety last year, and we knew we could improve there. But we never knew how many different trucks were out there until the applications started pouring in.”
Cuisines from 29 trucks this season will include crepes, barbeque, burgers, hot dogs, Greek, Brazilian, seafood, pizza, grilled cheese, french fries, empanadas, Mexican, wraps, falafel, farm-to-table, steak and cheese subs, gluten-free, Asian, sushi, Caribbean, Southern/Creole, ice cream, and, of course, doughnuts.
The park will continue to host 8 to 10 trucks each day, but Leech said there will be more of a rotation. “Each time you visit the park will likely be a different lineup,” he said. “It’s really exciting.”
Other key changes include more seating, improved parking, a more open layout, more activities for children and new patio flooring for the park to help those with strollers or wheelchairs.
The park also improved its beer garden with its “Maine Menu” made up entirely by breweries in Maine. That includes the park’s most popular brew, Honey Dip Blonde – made with Congdon’s honey dip doughnuts by Barreled Souls Brewing in Saco (and garnished with a doughnut hole).
Congdon’s After Dark officially opens May 23 at 4 p.m., but the park will open earlier that week to host the first of two major fundraisers for the season. The first fundraiser May 19 is for the Animal Welfare Society in Kennebunk while the second on June 2 will go toward My Pal Spencer, which funds research for Sanfilippo syndrome.
“We wanted to use the popularity of the park to help some of the causes we hold near and dear,” Leech said. “We hope to expand this in the future to help even more great organizations.”
On opening day, Congdon’s Doughnuts will announce the winner of its “Free Doughnuts for a Year” giveaway, which will award 365 doughnuts to one of its guests.
The park will be open Thursday through Sunday from Memorial Day until June 20, when it will open daily until Labor Day. The park will then be open weekends only until Columbus Day. For more information, including a schedule of food trucks for the season, visit congdonsafterdark.com.