For every foodie, there are few things better and more appealing than a food festival. If you love street food, the appeal of a food truck festival is even better. These events are a celebration of a culture that has become as American as the Superbowl.
The average food truck festival is a local event, but that doesn’t mean you can’t travel to see it. The carnival-like atmosphere with loud music, tons of colorful trucks, and, of course, cheap food makes food truck festivals a fun-choked affair.
For food truck owners, it’s a chance to meet a larger audience. The events are always teeming with food lovers that want to try out as many things as possible. With tens, sometimes hundreds, of trucks gathered in the same place, you have to do something to stand out. Although most food trucks are colorful, getting masterful designs like the fleet graphics from Craftsman Industries can be all you need to stand out.
That said, for everyone going to these events, it can be a wholesome experience. While the pandemic might prevent people from attending carnivals right now, they are definitely worth looking out for.
In the post-coronavirus era, here are some food festivals that would be a blast to attend:
World’s largest food truck rally – Tampa Bay, Florida
Everything you need to know about this event is already in the name. The founder of the event, Jeremy Gomez, currently holds the Guinness World Record for the largest parade of food trucks. In 2014, his company Generation Food Truck (USA) gathered 121 trucks into a parade at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.
Every year since the record-setting event has been a celebration of food and trucks in Tampa, Florida. The event often features performances from rock bands, monster trucks, and bounce castles. On odd occasions, there have been dodgeball competitions, too. There’s often much more to do than just eat food. The event often takes place toward the end of the year due to Florida’s warm weather.
Los Angeles Street Food Fest
The LA Street Food Fest is absolutely one of the best in the country. Originated in downtown Los Angeles, this event has been a yearly occurrence since 2010. There are typically over a hundred vendors at the event, with thousands of people visiting every year.
The LA Food Fest, as it’s commonly referred to, is held during the summer as it’s the best time for these kinds of festivals. The event center is usually outdoors in Santa Anita’s Park, California. It’s also pocket-friendly; you get one general-admission ticket that caters to all the eating and drinking you can do at the event. You can also purchase VIP tickets – those come with special parking, special bites and drinks, and a dedicated VIP lounge in the picnic area.
Street Eats Food Truck Festival – Scottsdale, Arizona
One weekend every February, Arizona people from all around Arizona gather for one of the most exciting food festivals worldwide. Over 55 food trucks participate in the yearly food carnival. With every truck serving a $2 sample of their food, you can get a mouthful on a budget. If you don’t have cash, you can pay with a credit card for most of your meals.
The festival includes other activities like live bands, eating contests, cooking classes, and lawn games. Since it’s often scheduled for the beginning of the year, you may have to wait until 2022 to attend the next, as that’s when it will be safe to do so.
Atlanta Street Food Festival – Atlanta, Georgia
The scenic Piedmont Park is the venue for one of America’s most flamboyant food truck festivals. The Atlanta Street Food Festival has been on for eight years now and shows no sign of slowing down. The event gathers together over 50 trucks yearly to celebrate Atlanta’s diversity.
It’s a pocket-friendly event with gate fees typically less than $20 and free for kids. There are also performances from local celebrities and other fun activities for kids. It’s a great place to have a family hangout. Many of the vendors have small plate options, so you can get to sample a lot of foods.
Taste of Three Cities – Maryland
If you’re looking for a summer food truck festival with a slice of inter-city beef (pun intended), the best place to be is in Maryland. This yearly food truck competition brings together the best food vendors from Baltimore, Washington, and Philadelphia to compete for a cash prize and bragging rights of who’s king.
The show also makes for good publicity for food truck vendors, as thousands of people attend it. The tenth edition of the event was called off last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, if everything goes according to plan and vaccinations are successful, we should expect another food-off in late 2021. If you’re from one of the three cities, you should go and cheer your local vendors in the next edition.
Sea Isle City Food Truck Fest – New Jersey
New Jersey is famous for its beautiful beaches, busy roads, and, most importantly, its delectable dishes. The city isn’t known as the Diner Capital of the World for nothing. It also gets its fair share of representation with the Sea Isle City Food Truck Fest.
The event is a celebration of New Jersey’s finest food vendors and is sometimes held twice a year – in June and September.
Last year’s spring event operated take-outs only with a lot of emphases placed on social distancing. While it might not have been the festival we wanted, we can look to the future for better food festivals.
There are two things Americans clearly love – big cars and fast food. It’s only ideal that the festivals that bring these two together are some of the most loved and fun festivals.
Outside of eating to your heart’s content, food truck festivals are a place to discover hidden gems and unlock a whole different dining experience.