Thirty of Phoenix’s food trucks will come together Saturday to provide fresh gourmet food to downtown Phoenicians in the city’s first festival of its kind.
The Phoenix Food Truck Festival is a collaborative effort between the Phoenix Street Food Coalition and the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation that features many of the city’s food trucks and several local bands in a Roosevelt Street vacant lot near Fifth Street.
The food truck festival, Phoenix’s first, is part of Roosevelt Row’s Adaptive Reuse of Temporary Space program. The A.R.T.S. program utilizes Phoenix’s many vacant lots through initiatives, such as it did with the Valley of the Sunflowers project.
The food trucks will provide free food and beverage samples with the purchase of an admission ticket. Tickets are $30 each if purchased before the day of the event and $35 at the door.
“We already have First and Third Fridays that are free for everyone, so it’s nice to think about a way to actually generate some revenue,” said Cindy Dach, Roosevelt Row CDC’s interim executive director, explaining the event serves as a fundraiser for both the Street Food Coalition and the A.R.T.S. program.
The food trucks are required to use locally sourced or Arizona-grown ingredients in at least 30 percent of their menu, said Jason Fimbrez, Phoenix Street Food Coalition’s policy director.
“It’s not just burgers and fries anymore,” said Fimbrez, citing Filipino cuisine and creme brulee as some of the food trucks’ offerings.
In addition to fresh local foods, the festival will serve alcohol donated by the Four Peaks Beer Truck and Dos Cabezas Winery. A small number of off-duty police officers will also be present to ensure appropriate behavior and a family-friendly atmosphere.
Live music will be coordinated by Stinkweeds Records, owned by Local First Arizona Founder Kimber Lanning. Featured local bands will include Pick and Holler, Monophonic Hillside and Dry River Yacht Club. Lanning’s band Letdownright, for which she is a drummer, will also perform.
The festival demonstrates remarkable initiative for Phoenix, Dach said, adding that food truck festivals are just beginning to become popular in other large U.S. cities.
“I’m proud that Phoenix is in the forefront for this,” said Dach.“Usually we’re like the 50th city to do something cool like this.”
Municipal pride aside, Downtown students were for the most part unaware of the festival this weekend. But at least one student was excited for for the event.
“The food has to be good,” said pre-health freshman Raymond Charoen, who has attended a food truck festival in his hometown of Las Vegas previously. “It’s homegrown so it will be even better.”
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