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Winston-Salem Downtown Things to do Food Truck Festival 2021

Girls’ time has been way overdue. That’s why when my friend Shelby invited Roxanne and me to all go to Winston-Salem downtown for their Food Truck Festival of 2021, we jumped on it. Shelby is a new mama to a beautiful baby girl and we’ve missed her! Life as a mama is rewarding but certainly busy and it’s been about a year since we’ve had a girls’ trip/day. Plus, good food, good times, good people, and drinks, how could a girl say no?

Things to do in Winston-Salem Downtown | Food Truck Festival 2021

After multiple outfit changes, I finally headed out Sunday afternoon to meet the girls at Shelby’s place. Ya’ll know we had to see that new baby and wild child (fur-baby), Milo.

The weather started out feeling pretty good, but it definitely warmed up fast. I think it got close to 90 degrees here in North Carolina. I was glad I chose a dress, but I was still feeling it.

We rode together, Shelby offered to drive to Winston-Salem, leaving the boys to watch the baby, Milo, and the game. The ride to downtown felt quick but we had a lot to catch up on!

Once we finally got into downtown Winston-Salem, North Liberty Road was closed off for the Food Truck Festival and we had to ride around a moment to find a place to park. Finally, we found a spot a few streets up, directly on the street. And since it was a Sunday, parking (we think) was free. Just in case, the girls put a few quarters into the parking meter and we headed down towards the festival.

The art in downtown Winston-Salem has really developed since I was there last. It’s very eclectic and beautiful. Right up Shelby’s alley for a photoshoot and Roxanne’s place to photograph!

The Food Truck Festival was full, but not body to body. I was a little surprised at both. On one side, many are still so nervous about COVID and barely anyone wore a mask. On the other side, I know so many people are ready to just be around other people.

With three girls, you know the first thing we had to do was pee. Shelby found us a great place, the Reboot Arcade Bar. Upon entry, it reminded me of a gamers spot. It had a lot of old-school games and along the walls were old-school, retro photos, and art.

There was even a set of neon-colored ski ball games.

We decided to chill here for a little bit and start with a couple of drinks.

While sipping our drinks this guy, Chino, who is a forklift operator and train operator (we heard this multiple times), offered to buy us shots. We asked the bartender if she could make a fruity shot and she did a Shirley Temple shot.

At first, our reaction was like “Oh great, what do you want?” But Chino was nice and he actually didn’t hit on us – what a relief. I believe the bartender explained Chino was there often and did that a lot in a way that wasn’t trying to pick someone up, so that’s fine. And he was nice enough to take a photo for us!

Now since I hadn’t eaten all day and was one shot and part of a Sour Monkey in, I told the girls I had to get some food in me.

After scouring the trucks, I decided I would have the BBLT from a truck called Hope Food Truck. As soon as I saw the BBLT was a Bologna, Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato sandwich on brioche, I said out loud, “What if I don’t want bologna?”

*Insert nose scrunch here*

The friendly server in the truck said with a smile, “Then you don’t have to have it on there.” I laughed and told her that would be perfect and handed over my card. I asked for a bottle of water and, unfortunately, they were all out.

Then she asked how much I wanted to donate and I told her we could do a dollar. Silly me. Double-checking, she kindly explained they are a donation-based food truck, meaning I tell them how much I want to pay and it’s a donation. WHAT?! That is so cool. I apologized and told her to do $10.

The girls weren’t hungry just yet, but we all needed water. We ended up going back to the Reboot Arcade Bar and ordered waters and we had a few more rounds of drinks and just chatted.

After a while of drinking, talking, and laughing, we were heading back out as the girls were getting hungry. On our way out, we ran into a female couple who, truthfully, at least one was over her limit. After Shelby spent time taking their pictures (almost accidentally stole a wallet) and us trying to unwind ourselves from them, which was a difficult task, we went back to the Hope Food Truck.

I ended up getting their incredible apple pie dessert nachos. Baked apples and drizzled Nutella coated soft, fluffy flour tortillas topped with whipped cream.

Shelby got their home-fried tenders and fries and I believe Roxanne had their 1/4 lb. Sirloin Truck Burger and fries. Their food was good, but their cause of Pay What You Can is so cool, we wanted to support them. Just don’t take advantage of it!

After we ate our food, we walked past the Food Trucks and headed towards Camel City BBQ, mostly in search of having to pee and not wanting to go back to Reboot because we weren’t ready for another run-in with the girls.

But to our surprise, the girls were ahead of us. One, the one who was definitely drunk, was against the wall surrounded by two police officers. Her friend was running past us, asking us to follow her. No thank you. Your friend pushed a bartender and is quite literally going to jail ma’am.

After a short failure of cornhole at Camel City, the sun was going down and we headed back to find our car and return home. Along the way, we took multiple photos with Winston-Salem’s art scenes. As it started to get darker though and we had yet to find our car, we decided that needed to be our main priority.

We walked up and down the streets of downtown Winston-Salem and at first, it was okay. But then it did get dark and we had no clue where we parked. We thought we did but nothing looked familiar and we hadn’t thought to take a picture.

I don’t think we had gotten to the panic point quite yet, but we had multiple cars pass and stares that certainly had us feeling uncomfortable. Three girls alone on the streets of downtown without a weapon was not the greatest feeling.

We came upon a police officer and ended up explaining we couldn’t find our car, we couldn’t remember anything about the area where we had parked other than it was on the street at a parking meter. That narrowed it down to roughly three streets the officer began to explain. For a while, it looked like he wasn’t going to be much help. He even stated that downtown Winston was safe.

But, he kept walking up the street with us, or we walked with him! Either way, after a couple of streets up we saw a potential match at the top of the hill – much farther up than we had thought we parked. When Shelby pushed the keys and the lights flashed there was a unanimous sigh of relief. We found it! We thanked the officer for his help, showed him where we were at, and we left, tired and so happy to go home.

Lesson of the day: keep your friends close and either park closer or take a picture!

Can I also say thank you to my support group for always taking pictures that allow me to create gorgeous blog articles? If it’s not my partner, it’s my friends so thank you all! I hate being in pictures and many times I forget to take photos. The majority of these were taken by Shelby (yet she is in none!) and Roxanne – thank you, ladies!

If you are looking for a photographer in the North Carolina area, be sure to check out Roxanne’s Facebook page. She does phenomenal work!!

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