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Columbus Food Truck and Cart Festival 2011

Home Forums Events Columbus Festivals Columbus Food Truck and Cart Festival 2011

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    Walker said:
    I heard that the estimated turnout was 12,000.

    I think I’d rather see this event held *every* Friday night all summer long with 2,000 people each night and half the food trucks.

    Exactly! I was blown away by the sheer numbers of people downtown on a Friday night, and (as many have noted) how full all of the restaurants were. It strikes me that turning this into a weekly event could do more to continue the revitalization of downtown than just about anything else.

    Undoubtedly there were some bugs to be worked out, but I suspect that much of that has to do with nobody expecting such huge attendance.

    Overall, my takeaways are: a) there’s probably more demand for street food than supply, and b) last night was a perfect example of how mobile food vendors can energize an area to the benefit of all (including neighboring bricks-and-mortar restaurants).

    I’d love to see the enthusiasm for this event motivate the development of Portland/Austin-like vendor ‘pods’.


    Mister Shifter

    Would make a great monthly event if they could work out the kinks.



    Probably 10 times as many people as I was expecting to be there. Insane… I can only imagine what the food trucks thought about it… Surrendered with out food, went to Press Grill for their amazing French Dip. So it wasn’t a total loss.

    Is there any food truck map? Several of the trucks, I have no idea where they are during the week.



    This festival was clearly a victim of its own success, and probably a perfect storm of interests (Friday night, perfect weather, accessible area, interesting location lots of people still hadn’t checked out yet, FOOD, food trucks). I have little doubt that the next time they do it everything will be better. They know the flaws; I’m sure they heard them all night. And all of the fallout business that places got because it was too packed was probably something NOBODY saw coming. Worth thinking about on a quarterly basis, I’d say. If we can doa Gallery Hop once a month, why not a Food Truck Fest every few months or so? More trucks please!

    A big thank you to the organizers for coming up with such a cool idea. You made Downtown the place to be last night. Let’s keep it up, folks.



    I loved the idea and was pumped up about this but it was just crazy. I agree they should look into doing this more often and maybe spreading the trucks out a little bit. I walked around but decided that the Little Palace 10 minute wait was better than standing in line. I’ll just hit the food trucks up when they are at their locations.

    Maybe two locations close together would be better to provide more options and less lines. Where was Yarba Buena?



    I wonder if they could do it along the Scioto Mile. Line em up along the river. Looks like they can’t really spread the trucks out on the Commons due to the parking garage so I’d say moving it to a little more open location may benefit.



    I was a mile away from the fest en route via high street southbound at around 8:30. When I finally made it in front of the commons (20 minutes later) the friends I were to meet phoned in the report of long lines and such so we abandoned and went to Element for dinner, which was very good (I had the Parma).

    It WAS cool to see so many people downtown for this. I don’t regret my attempt in trying to attend, but future attempts to attend such an event will be dependent on prior knowledge of how they plan to improve logistics.



    It was great to see so many people downtown. I got there around 5, so had a chance to get some food and a couple of beers. Left when the crowds got huge, went to Milestone 229 for more grub and stuck around to see Tony Monaco at the Scioto Mile. Overall, a wonderful night downtown! I’m sure the organizers of the food cart event will make changes if we’re lucky enough to have this event again!


    Has anyone heard YERBA BUENA is looking to move Across from NORTHSTAR CAFE? If so, who would you pick to eat? Definitely YB for the meal and NC for the dessert & awesome patio!



    I just want to congratulate the organizers for creating such a draw on the first go round.



    Tremendous showing yesterday, but I’m glad I left the Hyatt with a belly full of reception cuisine! Someone said Cleveland based Hodge Podge had a two hour wait! I had the opportunity to speak to Chef Chris, and hoping he takes the 100 grand in the Great Food Truck Race.

    More shots here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157627402959591/

    Liner Notes
    Liner Notes

    Great event. It really shows that Columbus can have an amazing urban event drawing over 10k people that is also positive for surrounding businesses without closing High Street. ;)

    As for the long lines, I would suggest a “take a number” system for each of the trucks. You pick a number and wait for it to be called. Then you order and wait for your food. When it’s ready, they call your number again and you pick it up. That way you are not really waiting in a line and you know pretty much how long it is going to be before you are served. If the truck is serving #15 and the next number to be picked is #225, you might want to try another truck.



    We got there at 7:30, and quickly bailed for the Scioto Mile. Milestone 229 was more than an hour wait by then so we just got some beers with no lines. A nice size crowd (but not too large) playing in the water and on the grass to see Tony Monaco. I think the Scioto Mile was the real winner for the evening.



    I got there around 6:30 and “I came, I saw, and–” I quickly bailed on the # 1 bus and went to Fourth Friday up in Westerville. In its short three month history, that was the most packed I’ve seen Columbus Commons.


    It seems that even those who came late and ended up dining in elsewhere downtown still had a great evening.

    Choosing to start the event at 4pm was genius – drawing in those who work in Downtown but live in the ‘burbs. It’s an incentive to stay for an evening!

    I think a monthly event would be amazing, giving planners time to get new musical acts (and can I say, I was a bit disappointed with the arts/crafts section). Maybe even continue my previous idea of having “on-call” vendors to switch out. That way when one truck runs out of food, another truck can be there to take their place.

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