Dining With Denise Neil

Food events this weekend: Zoobilee, food trucks, free ice cream for grandma

Zoobilee is on Saturday at the Sedgwick County Zoo.
Zoobilee is on Saturday at the Sedgwick County Zoo. File photo

Our Go section this week is overrun with Kansas State Fair news, which left me without space to let you know about a few worthwhile dining events happening over the weekend – just in case you’re not planning to go to the fair.

One is the second installment of the West Side Food Truck Rally, an event that Brown Box Bakery owner Anna Hastings and her husband, Caleb, started in August. The next rally is set for tonight (Friday, Sept. 11) at Reflection Ridge Plaza, 21st and Ridge.

It will be from 5 to 8 p.m. and will feature The Brown Box Bakery, The Flying Stove, B.S. Sandwich Press, Brickhouse BBQ, Let'm Eat Bräts, The Kamayan Truck, Xclusive Events bar truck, Sunflower Espresso Wichita, Funky Monkey Munchies and Big Chill Ice Cream. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and stay to listen to music by Jenny Wood & The Watchers.

Also, Saturday is the night for the annual Zoobilee event at the Sedgwick County Zoo. The annual fundraiser is such a big deal, that Zoobilee day is the only day the zoo ever closes to the public. During Zoobille, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. until midnight, the zoo grounds are filled with tables of food and adult beverages, and attendees are free to roam and enjoy at will. The list of restaurants participating this year is long and includes Hurts Donut, Firebirds Wood Fire Grill, Gianni Bacci’s, Carlos O’Kelly’s, Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Molino’s and more.

Live bands will perform throughout the event at different spots in the zoo. The lineup this year includes Blue Moon, Mudbugs Cajun & Zydeco Band, Mumblin’ Jones and Soul Injection. At 9:30 p.m., headliners Lucky People Band will take the main stage.

The zoo raises money by selling tickets, which cost $150 each, and with silent and live auctions. The live auction allows companies and individuals to “adopt” animals for a year with their bids, and they sometimes get to name their animals’ offspring. Money raised goes toward operating the zoo, and a portion is used to support the zoo's animal conservation initiatives in the wild. Tickets are $150 at the zoo’s website, www.scz.org.

Also, if you’re out celebrating Grandparents Day on Sunday, Jimmie’s Diner at 3111 N. Rock Road and 1519 George Washington Blvd. will be giving all grandparents a free sundae with their meals.