When the food trucks pull into Gardiner’s Waterfront Park Saturday, it will mark perhaps the first time that a commercial venture has hosted an event there.

Since the park was dedicated in October 2010, it has been the site of locally sponsored events, such as Greater Gardiner River Festival, the free Waterfront Concert Series presented by Johnson Hall and Barks in the Park, among others.

Now, Townsquare Media, a media and entertainment company, which operates 92 Moose and B98.5 radio stations, has picked Waterfront Park for its May 20 Food Truck Festival.

Denise Jones, live event manager for Townquare Media’s Augusta office, said her company looks for opportunities that will benefit both a community and her company.

“It’ll be a great day for entertainment,” Jones said.

The festival, which runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine, will feature eight trucks, a beer garden and three live bands — American Ride, 1980s and 1990s rock; Cold Blue Steel, country rock; and Back Woods Road Band, bluegrass. Jones said the Maine-based food trucks will be selling kettle corn, Filipino food, cookie dough and even gluten-free food.

“People should bring their lawn chairs and sit and enjoy the music,” she said.

For Gardiner, the festival is a chance to show what the city has to offer.

“From an economic development perspective and Gardiner Main Street perspective, we’re always thinking of ways to tie prospective customers to the business community,” Patrick Wright, executive director for Gardiner Main Street and economic development coordinator for the city, said.

“Our hope for the events at the park, and this one is no different, that folks will hear about this and come experience our waterfront park, have a positive experience and plan on coming back,” Wright said.

The park is the result of the city’s Waterfront Improvement Project that was geared to increase river access in Gardiner, which has public boat launch facilities. With grant funding from a number of state agencies and help from the Gardiner Rotary Club, the city was able to develop the recreational area within walking distance of downtown Gardiner.

Wright said this is the first time he can recall that a commercial event has been scheduled in the park.

“Gardiner Main Street has worked really hard to cultivate a brand out the quality of our events,” he said. “We’re looking forward to seeing other entities put on the same quality events.”

While Gardiner Main Street is helping to promote the event, he said, it’s a Townsquare Media event.

Wright said the vision when the Waterfront Park was created was to attract different types of activities by a lot of different groups, and that’s happening.

Jones said Gardiner officials have been good to work with, and if the event turns out well, Townsquare Media would like to make it an annual event.

“As long as Gardiner is happy and everything has gone well, we’ll start working on a date for next year,” she said.

Festival tickets are $10 in advance and $15 on the day of the show. Children under 5 get in free. Details are available on Townsquare’s website: townsquare.ticketleap.com/food-truck-festival.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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