Arnold native hopes to bring neighbors out, together with food truck event

Jamie Cutler wants to bring Arnold residents together and figures a food truck rally is a great way to do that.

“I wanted something good for the community, especially since we’ve been down because of the pandemic,” said Cutler, 45, an Arnold native. “I want to get people out and about so they can mingle a little bit and eat some good food — and try to get Arnold going like how it was when I was growing up.”

Cutler’s community event will be held Saturday at 1701 Fifth Ave., which is at 17th Street.

It will make use of a lot there owned by Arnold Mayor Joe Bia and four other investors. Bia said they finalized buying the property in September, with the intent of it being used for community events.

The property will be available to rent for affairs such as family reunions, graduation parties and weddings, which Bia said could be helpful for city residents without large yards.

Cutler’s event will be the first there.

“She seems very enthusiastic about it,” Bia said.

Cutler is expecting several food trucks and vendors, including Del Vecchio’s Sausage, Haus’ BBQ, Hot Ash Wood Fired Pizza, Sweets for the Street, Little C’s Concessions, Erie Distillery, Fresh N Full and Fazio’s. New ones were still signing on, such as Pittsburgh Crepes and Wok on Wheels.

Bringing in food trucks wasn’t her first idea. Cutler said she started with wanting to do a farmers market to bring food into the community but changed gears to food trucks after having a hard time with it.

Cutler works for UPMC and has been working from home. When she worked in Pittsburgh, she was part of an employee experience committee.

“We always had food trucks,” she said.

When she decided to try that instead, Cutler said she got a better response.

Food trucks have been the main feature of the monthly “Fridays on Fifth,” which started in neighboring New Kensington in July and is expected to resume in April or May.

“I’m hoping it draws that type of crowd,” Cutler said. “I want this to work out.”

Cutler hopes to make it a monthly event next year, starting up again in April.

“I want people to get out of their homes and enjoy life as we have it,” she said. “Life is so short right now; you never know what could happen.”

Bia said that would be great with him and his fellow investors in the property.

“If it takes off, the more people we can have in downtown, the better,” he said.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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