By Savath Yong
The food truck phenomenon is picking up speed and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. The Food Truck Festivals of New England is hosting its second annual Food Truck Festival at Suffolk Downs from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 111 Waldemar Ave. in East Boston.
The festivals will run into late fall at various locations throughout New England and Newport, Rhode Island with decked out trucks from the Greater Boston area, including Davis Square based businesses, Redbones BBQ and Kickass Cupcakes.
Caryn Whitney, catering manager at Redbones BBQ said, “We participated at the Suffolk Downs Food Truck Festival last year and we had such an awesome day. It was so busy and everyone had such a wonderful time, we decided to join in the fun again this year. Also, the festival reaches people who might not be able to make it into Somerville and dine at our restaurant. This year, we’ll be serving pulled pork sliders, St. Louis ribs and our famous BBQ beef sliders.”
Sara Ross, founder of Kickass Cupcakes, is scheduled to appear at the Newport Food Truck Festival in October. “I believe that food trucks are a great way to make a presence in the Boston area and expand the business. It’s so great to have all the food trucks together. It’s a day of fun and there’s just so much excitement in the air at the festivals.”
The founder and driving force behind FTFNE is Anne-Marie Aigner. She recognized that food trucks were sweeping the nation and saw an opportunity to bring it to Boston. “People find food trucks fascinating. I noticed it’s not just for young people, but foodies and chefs were waiting in lines that were down the street during lunch hour in Boston. Food trucks are an interesting business. It’s for people who dream of having a brick and mortar restaurant someday and this is a great entry point for them.”
In its augural year, the festival drew thousands of people and a couple of hundred attendees waited in line at some of the most popular trucks. Many of them didn’t seem to mind, since, according to Aigner, they claim it’s all part of the food truck festival experience. The festival promises a bigger and better variety of menu options from more than 25 trucks, sampling tents, live music, activities for children and 2013 Charity Pin-Up calendars available for purchase.
There is no admission fee but attendees must purchase “taste tickets” to be used as currency at the trucks, $13 for 10 tickets or $25 for 20 tickets. Advance tickets can be purchased online at foodtruckfestivalsofne.com. For a complete list of future events, participating trucks and up-to-date event information, visit the website foodtruckfestivalsofne.com or call 617-782-7117.