Features

Food Truck Festival brings crowds downtown

8.31.16_Features_JamieBiggs_foodtruck_JamieBiggs2

Jamie Biggs/The Carolinian

Jamie Biggs
  Staff Writer

Having lived in or around Greensboro my entire life, I tend to think that there’s not a lot going on around the city, having experienced all of the major attractions and offerings years ago. Downtown Greensboro is the one exception I’ve found to this way of thinking. Frequently, downtown hosts events that draw a crowd and invite people to experience something new.

This past weekend on Sunday evening, Greensboro hosted the Food Truck Festival, an annual event they have been putting on for just the past few years. This year, a portion of the proceeds is to go to The Merit Pitbull Foundation. More than fifty food trucks, beer and wine vendors, and musicians lined Market, Green and Elm streets.

Never having been to the Food Truck Festival, I was unsure of what to expect when I arrived. In years past, the festival had never even been on my radar; this was my first year hearing about it.

Because of my unfamiliarity with it, I assumed there wouldn’t be much of a crowd, but people filled the streets despite how few advertisements there seemed to have been prior to the event.

I made my rounds through the food truck-lined streets, taking in some of the attractions they had in addition to the food and drinks. A giant coloring book page lay in the street, inviting people to come add their own mark to it. Canvases set up on the sidewalk with painters at work in front of them were available for attendees to watch.

A man outside of Stumble Stilskins played his guitar amid other similar musicians. Dressed in her boots and not much else, a woman stood by the sidewalk as she was painted purple and blue, turning into “live art” before the eyes of those watching.

Unaware that there would be anything other than food trucks at the festival; these artsy editions were an unexpected source of entertainment for the people strolling by or seated to dig into their food. There were also a few tents set up by businesses, looking to make a sale to the people who seemed mostly interested in the food and the entertainment.

It eventually came time to quit strolling along the streets and people watching and get down to serious business: deciding what to eat. If any readers struggle picking out something from a single restaurant menu, then all I can do is wish the best of luck if you ever decide to attend a food truck festival.

With over fifty options of trucks to choose from, accompanied with the myriad of choices that each of their menus contained, making a decision was nearly impossible. There were dessert options, including cheesecake on a stick, milkshakes, and the ever-popular funnel cake, but I was hungry and looking for a meal.

Some of the food trucks drew you in with their unique names and designs. Baconessence featured — guess what — a menu with a variety of bacon-heavy foods. Mac-Ur-Roni seemed to be willing to put anything anyone could ever want on their macaroni and cheese.

In the end, I wound up at a truck with the name Captain Ponchos stamped on the side. Despite the crowds, none of the lines were very long for any of the trucks, likely because of the amount of trucks they had to offer.

Captain Ponchos — stationed in Chapel Hill according to the information they had listed beneath the logo — offered a variety of Mexican food, and I walked away with an order of chicken fajitas less than five minutes after stepping up to the truck.

The chicken fajitas ended up being delicious. I’d highly recommend Captain Ponchos to anyone, but the Food Truck Festival — despite having food and truck in its name — is really more about the festival part of it.

Families seemed to be the main group in attendance, gathered on sidewalks with their chosen food, talking and taking in the music and vendors that the festival had to offer. The heat and crowds didn’t interfere with the good attitudes of the festival-goers. In addition to helping out the Pitbull foundation that the event benefited, it was another family-friendly event that downtown Greensboro occasionally likes to surprise me and the community with.

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