Taste of Waco allows Baylor family to experience Waco cuisine

Taste of Waco is an event on Fountain Mall where Baylor families can get food from Waco's favorite food trucks. Audrey La | Photographer

By Katelyn Patterson | Reporter

Food trucks lined Fountain Mall on Friday for Taste of Waco, a Family Weekend event, which featured local restaurants such as Nightlight Donuts & Coffee, Waco Cha and Xristo’s Cafe.

According to the website, the Family Weekend experience has been a tradition at Baylor since 1960.

“Family Weekend strives to help families of Baylor students become better acquainted with the University and its beloved traditions,” the website said.

Taste of Waco’s scale was much larger this year, including more than 10 food trucks and over 4,000 tickets sold.

Colorado Springs, Colo. sophomore Jeremiah Owens, a member of the Baylor Chamber of Commerce, said Taste of Waco was just one aspect of the interactive weekend.

“The chamber runs all of the events for Family Weekend,” Owens said. “We’re having a jam-packed weekend where families can come and interact on campus.”

The Baylor Chamber of Commerce website said that for over 100 years they have maintained some of the most important parts of Baylor’s culture.

“The Baylor Chamber of Commerce, founded in 1919, exists to preserve and protect the traditions of Baylor University,” chamber’s website said.

Most families were unable to attend events like Family Weekend on campus for the 2020-2021 school year due to COVID-19. Tina Amberson, parent of a Baylor sophomore, said she was thankful for the event taking place this year. Amberson said getting to see the campus and learn about local restaurants was enjoyable.

“We were excited to be engaged in something on campus after last year’s experience,” Amberson said. “We went to Dr Pepper Hour in the President’s Suite, and that was fun. I did get to come and see campus with her a little bit, and we get to see a few new places here and there.”

Owens said chamber reached out to restaurants and asked them to participate in the event this year.

“Sometimes vendors will reach out to us, but most of the time we reach out to the third-party vendors for Taste of Waco,” Owens said.

Sam Park, vice president of operations at Nightlight Donuts & Coffee, said Nightlight was contacted about having a food truck at Taste of Waco because of its frequency and popularity on campus.

“We were contacted and our catering coordinators managed all of that and got us down here,” Park said. “We have been on campus before, just last weekend for Howdy.”

Other events during Family Weekend included a Traditions Scavenger Hunt, Vertical Family Worship, After Dark and a tailgate before the football game against Iowa State on Saturday.