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Pahrump Food Truck Fiesta canceled

Those who were eagerly looking forward to next weekend’s Food Truck Fiesta will undoubtedly suffer immense disappointment upon learning that the planned community event has now been canceled, with event organizer Doug Dubin officially withdrawing his application for a festival permit at the Nye County Commission’s last meeting.

“Withdrawing the application and putting the event on hold until next year was not an easy decision, as people want to get outdoors, safely and securely,” Dubin told the Pahrump Valley Times shortly after the commission meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 17.

He then assured the community that those who have already spent some cash in anticipation of participating in the event, either as a vendor or an attendee, will have their money returned, stating, “All ticket holders and vendors will get a refund and have the opportunity to get tickets later for the Pahrump Music Festival 2022. We already have bands, vendors and sponsors chomping at the bit to get involved.”

The Food Truck Fiesta was scheduled to take place on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 27 and 28 at Petrack Park with a plethora of food trucks and other vendors set to take over the park itself, while performers were planned to turn the adjoining McCullough Arena into a rocking entertainment venue where a variety of musical styles were to be on display. The event was to to be put on by the VinoJazz Foundation, of which Dubin is a co-founder, and though much of the details had been determined and many of the facets of the festival were all set to go, a series of unfortunate circumstances eventually led to Dubin’s decision to call off the event.

The first stumbling block for the Food Truck Fiesta came in the form of what Dubin described as “…issues outside of our control.” Those issues, Dubin explained for commissioners, were related to the safety and security of the event and as a result, Dubin was before the board at its Tuesday, Aug. 17 meeting to request approval for a change of dates for the event.

“The VinoJazz Foundation is thrilled to be able to provide different and unique events to the community,” Dubin told commissioners on Tuesday. “We’ve gotten an overwhelming response and support for not only this event but all of our events. Again, due to unforeseen circumstances, we need to ask the board to move the event from the 27th and 28th of this month to October 15 and 16.”

The safety and security aspect was not the only issue that Dubin was facing, however, as Nye County Commission Chair Debra Strickland quickly pointed out. Strickland, who is liaison to the Pahrump Arena Advisory Committee, noted that the McCullough Arena is not available for October 15 and 16.

Dubin said he was not originally informed of this fact when applying for the new dates but when he later learned about the lack of arena availability, he and his team of event organizers did not allow that to dissuade them. They quickly pivoted and decided that rather than hosting the musical concerts inside the arena, they would instead plan to build an amphitheater of sorts on the far north field of Petrack Park, complete with a stage, seating and temporary fencing.

“Our plan is to continue the event without using the arena,” Dubin explained.

Nye County Commissioner Frank Carbone then jumped into the conversation, bringing the final blow that would ultimately result in the cancellation of the Food Truck Fiesta.

“Not to make you feel unwanted or anything to that effect (but) based on going out and looking at the schedules that the town of Pahrump has for that area (Petrack Park), it is actually all consumed all the way past these dates,” Carbone stated. “Right now, the fields aren’t available for you to even have.”

Dubin said he had applied to reserve three of the fields at Petrack Park for the Food Truck Fiesta but Carbone reiterated that those fields were already secured by local sports groups, including adult and youth softball. This was the same situation that almost put an end to the 2021 Pahrump Balloon Festival, but in that instance, a compromise was able to be reached in which the Balloon Festival and little league were able to simultaneously use the fields at Ian Deutch Memorial Park. This was something that was apparently not possible in the case of the Food Truck Fiesta.

“If we were to move the dates, according to your application, there would be not one, not two, but three groups that would be displaced and bumped off the field,” commissioner Bruce Jabbour said. “Which I am not OK with.” Jabbour asked if Dubin would be able to overcome the safety and security concerns and stick with the original dates of Aug. 27 and 28 but Dubin said that simply would not be possible.

“We’re not here to displace anybody,” Dubin responded. “Our goal is to provide additional opportunities for the community, not to step on toes… Our goal is to provide amazing outdoor events and if the facilities are not available, as you mentioned, then we will withdraw our application because we have lots of opportunities. Our next one, of course, will be the music festival at the end of March next year.”

Commissioner Donna Cox, striving to find a solution, then asked if Dubin could possibly move the Food Truck Fiesta to Ian Deutch Memorial Park instead but this, too, was not an option. Dubin said the main problem with that idea is that Petrack Park is ideally suited for the type of event he was planning, with ample power supplies and a better availability of space to create the amphitheater necessary for the concerts.

In the end, Dubin formally withdrew his application for the Food Truck Fiesta and the commissioners allowed his agenda item to die without any action.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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