A newly renovated Central Park will host its first big event on Friday as crowds gather for the first Food Truck Friday event of 2018.

A newly renovated Central Park will host its first big event on Friday as crowds gather for the first Food Truck Friday event of 2018.
The event starts at noon and is scheduled to run until 9 p.m.
Carthage Water & Electric Plant and the city of Carthage recently completed more than $160,000 in upgrades to the electrical service and lighting throughout historic Central Park.
Gone are the wires draped in trees and old lamp posts with 100-watt incandescent bulbs in them. They've been replaced with underground electrical services and new LED lights on posts patterned after the new light posts on the Carthage Square and the new bridge on Missouri 96 over the railroad tracks east of town.
The restrooms at the wading pool have been upgraded and the lighting in the pavilion in the center of the park, and on the statue of Marlin Perkins, the famed naturalist from Carthage, have also been replaced with LEDs.
Wendi Douglas, director of the Carthage Convention and Visitor's Bureau and one of the organizers of the event, said the upgrades look good.
Douglas said the cold weather has delayed the growth of the new grass in the construction areas, so people should be prepared for some mud for the April event.
“The park is going to look really good in May,” Douglas said. “Right now it looks like you would expect it immediately after some construction. The technological upgrades are amazing though. There are 21 power stations as compared to 10 before. The restrooms have been upgraded and they drain better. You can see at night in the park, the lights are a big improvement.”
Douglas said 19 food trucks have signed up for this event. Another eight groups have signed up to have tables in the park and four groups, the Caleb Miller Solo Project, Maple Leaf Music Company, Dawson Hollow and The Sea Hollies, have signed up to provide musical entertainment.
Weather could be a concern. The National Weather service is predicting showers during the day and thunderstorms at night, but the temperature is predicted to be in the mid 70. The event has dealt with rain showers in the past with few consequences.
For more details, call Wendi Douglas at the Carthage Convention and Visitors Bureau, 359-8181.