First Ever Food Truck Festival Attracts Thousands to Portland Waterfront

Tyler Milletts, (R in red), Tyler Cook, (Middle in Gray) With Four Buddies

Tyler Milletts, (R in red), Tyler Cook, (Middle in Gray) With Four Buddies

Richard Cary & Kira Knowles, of Fire & Co. Sold Out of Pizza at 3:30 PM!

Richard Cary & Kira Knowles, of Fire & Co. Sold Out of Pizza at 3:30 PM!

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 1,772)

Tyler Milletts, Tyler Cook and four of their buddies drove up from Scarbourough this morning to attend the first annual Street Eats and Beats Festival on the parking lot beside Ocean Gateway. “This is what we look forward to.  It’s been a long winter and we wanted to get out and enjoy some good food and beer with our friends” said Milletts. They also wanted to enjoy the music of the Paranoid Social Club, one of four bands playing at the waterfront festival.

They weren’t alone.  Close to 4,000 others had a similar idea.  The Festival was advertised on local radio stations and as of yesterday afternoon more than 1,900 tickets were sold.  Just two hours after the Festival started, organizers stopped selling tickets,. It was sold out.  Many were turned away.  One of those disappointed was Sam Gorelick.  He’s in the process of constructing a food truck from which he plans to sell Fishin’ Ships this summer.  But no dice – he could not get in.

Jane Barriault said:  “We’ve been to two food truck festivals in Newport, Rhode Island.  We kept saying we need one in Portland and here it is.”  Her finance Ted Wandishin agreed with her. He lives on the Eastern Promenade on Munjoy Hill.

The perfect spring day was no doubt another incentive for the large turnout. In the background the spectacular Nova Star ferry to Nova Scotia was docked adding to the ambience of the occasion.  A long line along Commercial Street formed well before the noon opening time – and shortly thereafter long lines for food developed as well.  Some ran out of food earlier than they hoped.  The Small Axe Truck closed down only several hours after opening up.  Fire & Co. sold pizzas most of the day, but finally had to close down around 3:30 pm.  “We were hoping to sell out, but not until 5:00 pm., said Richard Cary, happy with the whole event. KupCakes, Inc., a Monument Square business, sold around 600 “kupcakes” and a smaller number of mini cakes.

By 5:00 pm., Gusto’s Food Truck was the last truck standing.  That’s because Bruce Davidson, manager, was super prepared for the Festival.  He spent twenty-five hours prepping food including:  70 lbs. of chicken, 40 lbs. of steak, 120 lbs. of french fries, 68 lbs. of cheddar cheese and more.   Davidson did not run out of food.   And that’s a good thing.  Because the Group of Six buddies waited almost two hours in line at Gusto’s to get chicken bacon ranch in a flat bread crust cone.  They agreed it was worth the wait – “We’ll be back next year,” they echoed each other.

Amanda Cahoon, organizer of the event for Townsquare Media, Portland, said todays event was just the first in a series of events in downtown Portland this year.  The next event is a Wine & Beer Festival, on Saturday, June 21st at Portland Yacht Services, 58 Fore Street at the bottom of Munjoy Hill.  The cost is $40,00 per person.

Please email for more information.  The four radio stations hosting this event are: WBLM, WCYY, WHOM and WJBQ; the will be giving more details on the PYS June 21st event.