First Friday organizers announce changes for food trucks, art vendors for October event

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- People who attend October's First Friday will see a few changes.

Some streets will once again be closed, art vendors will be able to set up in alleyways, and food trucks will be outside the closed off area.

"The vendors will be in our alleys," said Jeff Owens, Chair of First Friday.  "A little bit of theme for October. Some pumpkins and cornstalks. I think it`s going to be a new tradition for First Friday, so we`re really excited for how that`s going to turn out."

Last month, because of the loss of liability insurance, there weren't any street closures at the event. Street vendors and food trucks weren't allowed to set up on the sidewalks.

The Crossroads Community Association lost its insurance after 25-year-old Erin Langhofer died in a shooting during August's First Friday. She was an innocent bystander.

But a newly purchased insurance policy means a new beginning.

"We are going to have vendors back and food trucks back," Owens said.

The new policy technically allows food trucks, but Owens said they made the decision to keep them outside the festival's limits.

"We`re working with KCPD, and together we decided it was too big of an area to make it secure. So the new area is a little smaller, and it will be easier to keep an eye on it from a security standpoint and more room for people to line up," Owens said.

Food trucks will be set up on 18th Street between Cherry and Holmes in front of the KCP&L substation park.

In September, Owens said around 6,000 went to First Friday. For that time of year, the number is usually around 15,000.

"It`s just not the same after the incident," said Adam Alazeeh, manager of Jerusalem Cafe.

Alazeeh said they'll skip out on October's First Friday.

"Us ourselves, we have about four food trucks that go and attend first Friday every month," Alazeeh said. "Last month we took one out there, and this month we`re not even going to do that one because it`s not even worth it."

Alazeeh wants the community to feel safe again and wants businesses to have the opportunity to thrive.

"To get people comfortable being out there it will take a while," Alazeeh said. "I hope it`s sooner than later."

First Friday organizers are working on another new location for food trucks, but they aren't ready to announce where it will be just yet.

October is the last official First Friday until April.

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