Organizers of the seventh annual 2019 Whitehall Food Truck & Fun Fest are preparing for its largest crowd ever.
That could mean as many as 30,000 visitors hungry for tasty treats and country hits.
"We have absolutely everyone involved" to make the event "safe and secure," said Kaitlin King, community-affairs manager for Whitehall.
This year's festival will run from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 27, on South Yearling Road between Etna Road and Langley Avenue.
In addition to Whitehall police officers and medics, some of whom are working overtime, the city also is employing special-duty Franklin County deputies and has contracted with a private-security firm to ensure the city can protect the throng, King said.
The anticipated crowd is in no small part associated with the headline entertainer, Lee Brice, whom the city announced just after Memorial Day.
According to the city of Whitehall's Facebook page, Brice's free concert will attract fans from throughout Ohio and even from out of state.
"We read that people were coming from Tennessee," King said.
Tickets for Brice's concerts typically begin around $60, "so a lot of people have said they are excited and thrilled to get a chance to see him for free," King said.
Brice is known for such hits as "Love Like Crazy," "Parking Lot Party" and "I Drive Your Truck."
He's also written songs for such artists as Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Faith Hill and Kenny Chesney.
Brice -- scheduled to perform from 8:30 to 10 p.m. -- has been nominated for two Grammy Awards and a Country Music Association Award, among others
Despite the excitement generated by Brice's performance, the event is, of course, about the food, King said.
About 36 food trucks from central Ohio are expected to fill the streets, joining food tents and other vendors, she said.
The fare will run the gamut, from seafood and hot dogs to Mexican, South American, Caribbean and Asian cuisine.
Additional entertainment is scheduled for two stages dubbed the Community and City stages.
Brice's show will take place on the City Stage.
Other performers on the City Stage, beginning at noon and in order of appearance, are Yours for the Taking, Alexis Gomez, Three Ton Load and North to Nashville.
Performers on the Community Stage, beginning at 11 a.m. and in order of appearance, are Lost Black Lab, Olde Cellar Band, Hurricane Jerry & the Surge, the Whitehall-Yearling High School marching band, Ashley Martin Band, Whiskey Saints, Radio Tramps and the Fabulous Johnson Brothers.
For more information about other entertainment and a listing of all the food trucks, visit the city of Whitehall's Facebook page. Whitehall will provide shuttles to the event between 1 and 10 p.m. July 27 from Beechwood Elementary School, 455 Beechwold Road, and Kae Avenue Elementary School, 4750 Kae Ave., where parking is available, King said.
South Yearling Road will be closed in advance of the festival.
The street between Etna Road and Langley Avenue will close around 9 p.m. Friday, July 26, to allow organizers to set up for the event. It will reopen around 2 a.m. Sunday, July 28.
Whitehall Mayor Kim Maggard said she is excited about the fest.
"We always work to make it better than the year before, (and) the variety of excellent food and music keep people coming back," she said.