By Jack Lowenstein

(CBS4) — Civic Center EATS was back Thursday with its opening day, as Denver looked to revive Civic Center Park. The program, which is organized to help small businesses, received a twist this year — a focus on inclusivity.

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Civic Center EATS is a tradition that dates back to the mid-2000s. This year, there’s a new addition to help out your pockets. Tokens being provided are like currency, and they support the new “Eats for all” and “Pay as you are able” initiatives.

How it works: You would walk up to the Civic Center booth and pay as much as you can for lunch. Then, go to one of the food trucks and enjoy the meal. This is to make sure there are no barriers preventing anyone from eating because of the cost.

Also, the “Eats for all” initiative gives small, minority-owned food trucks the finances to participate in Civic Center EATS.

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It’s all about tearing down any barriers, so everyone can enjoy some food in the sun.

“Civic Center is always a place where we come together as a community, and we got out of balance last year,” said Eric Lazzari, the executive director of Civic Center Conservancy. “And people didn’t want to come, and our hope is that this could be a galvanizing moment for all of downtown Denver here is that civic center is back open. There’s exciting things happening here, and nearly every single day, and this is the place the community should want to come.”

(credit: CBS)

Civic Center EATS is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Thursday until Sept. 1.

Live music will add to the festivities at Civic Center Park each week during the event.

Jack Lowenstein