For five years, Kate Phillips, owner of marketing firm Parker Phillips, and her team of 150 volunteers have spent their June pulling together the Erie Food Truck Festival in Lawrence Park. Even in 2020 when everything seemed lost.
“We were disrupted by COVID,” she said of that year. “We turned it into a Front Porch Festival and we raised money and donated it to food truck operators. So we’ve moved on.”
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She said they came back in 2021, donating the proceeds once again to the Iroquois School District Foundation.
“Last year we had a good year,” Phillips said. “We had The Groove. And this year we have it again, and Mambo.
“We think this is going to be our biggest year ever.”
She said organizers are expecting 13 food trucks with “a nice mix of dishes” on Saturday. She said she likes the music lineup, as well as six breweries and wineries, to wash everything down.
time to make deontology
Melissa Fink, co-owner of Donatology Food Truck with her husband David, is excited to return to the Food Truck Festival.
“(2021) was a huge success for us, which is why we’re coming back,” said Melissa Fink. “I love that they have music and a variety of trucks and a nice big open field. Last year we had a constant line the whole time.”
This is the third season of the Fink family with their donut truck.
“We started in May 2020, don’t know what will happen,” she said. “It’s been beyond our wildest dreams. The support from the community and the surrounding communities, people, has been great and it’s a lot of fun.
“It’s also a lot of work,” she said, adding that it’s a part-time gig for both bosses, who also have other full-time jobs. She said that they do private events, but they need plenty of time to work into their schedules.
“Sometimes people approach us and ask if we can schedule them the next day and I just have to say no because it takes hours to prepare the truck and even when we get there, So it takes us three hours to set up.
“We have booked until August and September,” for this season, she said.
“It’s so funny,” said Melissa Fink. “We enjoy it a lot and we learn more all the time.”
List of Flavor Buckets
Mark Mitchell will be there as owner of The Flavor Bucket, his first major festival since launching his truck in September.
“Many people have been living in the house for a few years now and now is the time to come out and see the variety of food that Aerie has to offer,” Mitchell said. “There’s going to be a lot of people. I’m excited and I’m ready for them?
He said his lifelong cooking background includes Oliver, Safari Grill and Smokey Bones.
“I’ve been cooking my whole life really,” he said, listing menu items like crab egg rolls, pineapple chicken tacos, jamburgers, and the one-pound smuc de burger, which includes brisket.
“I’m cooking my own way and bringing what I knew about food to this venture,” he said. “I’ve always wanted a food truck and I found a great opportunity.”
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Tickets available now
Philips said they raised the original price to $11 in 2021, but dropped it back to $10 this year. Of course, it already has, which you’ll find at bit.ly/foodtruckfestival22. If you wait until festival day, it goes up to $15 at the gate.
This means that everyone is planning how many people they will serve.
“We don’t charge trucks,” Phillips said. “We keep it 100 percent local. The money we raise goes to the Iroquois School District Foundation.”
This is an organization that supports field trips, grants for teacher education, and other educational grants to the school, Phillips said. “For example, the students visited Brigadier Niagara,” she said. “The summer was a reading contest with a prize. Any creative way to engage students in learning.”
Phillips said the festival’s first year, she served about 5,000 people and she expects twice on Saturdays.
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He also said that 150 volunteers living in the school district help and participate in the festival.
“It’s a complete volunteer effort,” she said.
if you go …
- what: Fifth Annual Food Truck Festival
- When: Saturday, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Where: Water and Main Streets, East GE Fields in Lawrence Park.
- Ticket: Advance tickets are $10 at eriefoodtruckfestival.com. Your $10 advance ticket includes #ErieFoodTruckFestival souvenir pint cups, access to local food trucks, and local bands.
- 2 to 3:15 p.m., two for the show: Lindsay Vendetti and Arie Brewer
- 3:15 to 4:30 p.m., Zack Orry
- 4:30 to 5:45 p.m., Mambo
- 6 to 8 p.m., The Grooves
- big Cheese
- flavor bucket
- food for thought
- Happy Tourist Snack Shack
- JEB concessions
- Crazy Tortilla
- rb concessions
- Sarah’s Sweet Kettle Corn
- Spanglish Skillet
- Tony’s Tasty Twist
- Triple D’s
- Underdog BBQ
- Black Monk Brewing
- Lavi Brewing
- Nostrovia Brewing
- Arundel Cellars & Brewing
- 6 Mile Sellers
- dungeon 54
- Mazza Vineyards
- Driftwood Wine Cellars
Contact Jenny Geisler at [email protected] or at 814-870-1885.