Heard on Hurd returns for first full season post-pandemic
At the beginning of the food truck boom in 2014, Citizens Bank of Edmond launched a new local food truck event hoping to bring around 300 residents to the downtown Edmond area. Eight years later, Heard on Hurd has hosted more than one million attendees to celebrate great food and music, becoming a staple event in the Edmond community.
The inaugural event
In September 2014, Citizens Bank CEO Jill Castilla hosted the first Heard on Hurd event at the corner of Hurd and Broadway in the heart of downtown Edmond. At the time, H&8th had been a hugely successful food truck street festival in Oklahoma City’s upcoming Midtown district, and the rise of local outdoor concerts was sweeping the nation.
Citizens Bank planned the event to build a sense of community and reinvigorate the downtown area where it had been founded more than 120 years earlier.
“Heard on Hurd is a big contributor to the revitalization of Downtown Edmond,” said Matt Connor, owner and head brewer at Frenzy Brewing Co. located downtown. “Long before Frenzy Brewing was even a concept we frequented Heard on Hurd as consumers, and it is one of the reasons we choose Downtown Edmond for our brewery.”
The inaugural event brought together 3,000 attendees and ten local food trucks, which all sold out in only an hour. It became evident that Heard on Hurd was something the community could rally around and a catalyst for supporting Edmond businesses.
An overnight success
The first official season of Heard on Hurd began in 2015 with monthly events every third Saturday from March to October. Each month, Broadway was shut down from Second St. to Hurd to make way for the crowds gathered in the streets. Every event brought new sights and sounds for guests including rotating music lineups, family-focused activities, and an expanding offering of pop-up shops.
The goal of revitalizing the area continued on as more and more storefronts were filling up with local tenants excited about the growth and unique culture forming in Downtown Edmond. Business owners embraced Heard on Hurd by keeping their shops and restaurants open late, offering special discounts during the festival, and hosting rising artists.
“Heard on Hurd is an amazing event that brings together and highlights a lot of great businesses in the area,” said Sean Rose, Executive Director at Victims Impact Panel of Oklahoma located in downtown Edmond. “We love how it further cements that close communal spirit of the Edmond community and brings everyone together.”
The once humble food truck event quickly transformed into a central hub for local food, unique goods, art, music, and connection. Since its inception, Heard on Hurd has seen participation from more than 250 local vendors and a total economic impact of over $38 million.
In 2020, the COVID global pandemic brought the growth to a halt with a fifteen-month hiatus, but the festival returned better than ever with a massive block party in July 2021 followed by a shortened four-month season.
What’s new in 2022
The 2022 Heard on Hurd season recently kicked off in style on March 19. The latest event hosted more than 60 vendors from food trucks and beer buses to clothing boutiques and local creators. As in years past, Citizens Bank featured a local nonprofit to benefit from event proceeds, with March’s donations benefitting the Edmond Public Schools Foundation.
Due to the event’s continued success, Citizens Bank created a brand new Heard on Hurd pre-party at the Edmond Railyard for early eventgoers to gather and get the celebration started. This year, the organization also launched QR code signs for attendees to easily find and support event vendors and the surrounding local businesses.
“Our vision of Frenzy being a community gathering place is always on display at Heard on Hurd,” said Connor. “It has allowed us to connect with the community in a big way. We are proud to be a part of the amazing things happening in Downtown Edmond.”
Into the 2022 season and beyond, Heard on Hurd will continue to bring together family-friendly fun, local music, and good eats in the heart of Edmond.
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About Ashley Neese
Ashley Neese currently serves as editor of Edmond Business and a freelancer specializing in overall communication strategy. She previously served as the communications and marketing manager at the Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce, where she promoted chamber events, helped members gain exposure, and spearheaded the Edmond Young Professionals organization, as well as the Chamber’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.
An Edmond native, Ashley graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2017 with a degree in Strategic Communications. In her free time, she enjoys brewing coffee and finding the best local eats.