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Food Truck Festivals Bring Culinary Celebrations for a Cause

by on September 13, 2017 5:00 AM

Fans of local food truck fare are in for a good couple of weeks.

The first ever State College Food Truck Fiesta will motor into downtown State College on Friday with a chance to enjoy tasty fare while supporting THON.

Then on Sunday, Sept. 24, the Food Truck Rally in the Valley will be held in support of Housing Transitions.

Friday's Food Truck Fiesta -- which will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. in the parking lot of Grace Lutheran Church, 205. S. Garner St. -- is an effort by Apollo, a student special-interest organization dedicated to raising funds for THON and the Four Diamonds Fund to combat pediatric cancer.

Katie Hockenberry, Apollo fundraising co-chair, said past president Angela Linton mentioned the idea last school year, but the organization was too far into plans for the year to make it happen. In May, she and fundraising co-chair Tessa Sontheimer pushed the plan forward and over the summer the 11 members of Apollo's executive board set out to line up vendors and arrange the location.

With members away from State College during the summer, though, it took awhile to pull everything together.

"Through the process of trying to get vendors we’ve learned a lot about what will work better in the future," said Hockenberry, who added that Apollo hopes to make it annual event. "Everyone said you have to get a head start in contacting vendors since September is a big month for them... We didn’t even think about that September is a huge month for fairs so a lot of them were already booked."

Still, 11 local and regional trucks are lined up for the Food Truck Fiesta, and they will donate a portion of their proceeds from the day to THON. 

Two won't be offering edibles but instead selling unique clothing items. Alexandria, Pa.-based Win Over All produces collegiate (including Penn State) clothing and other items designed to inspire "a mindset to Win Over All against any challenge you face." 

Love Your Melon is "dedicated to giving a hat to every child battling cancer in America as well as supporting nonprofit organizations who lead the fight against pediatric cancer," making it a natural fit for the THON fundraiser.

The event also will feature live music. Food trucks will include Brazillian Munchies, Just Better BBQ, Salsa's Food Truck, Doan's Bones Barbecue, The Pretzel Spot, Village Eating House, World's Fare Catering, Potato Coop and Funky Freezer 

"I’m really excited to see the turnout," Hockenberry said. "It’s gone better than we could have ever expected and we’re hoping people actually come out and check it out. We’re really excited about it and think other people will be too."

Visit the Facebook event page or www.statecollegeftf.com for more information.

 

The Food Truck Rally in the Valley, meanwhile, is set for noon to 3 p.m. on Sept. 24. The 200 block of South Allen Street will be closed to traffic for the event.

The event also will see its vendors offering a part of the day's proceeds to a worthy cause -- Housing Transitions and its Centre House emergency shelter.

Centre House is open and staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and gives shelter and food to individuals experiencing homelessness or who are in crisis. The program also provides guidance to help clients toward stable housing.

Seven vendors have been lined up so far for the Food Truck Rally. The lineup includes Street Meat, World's Fare Catering, El Gringo taco truck, Rosie's Pierogies, Lewistown Creamery, and a stone pizza oven.

Pure Cane Sugar will perform from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and the afternoon will feature activities for the whole family.

For more information on the Food Truck Rally in the Valley, visit the Facebook event page. For more on Housing Transitions and its work to provide housing and support services for those in need in Centre County, visit housingtransitions.org.



Geoff Rushton is managing editor for StateCollege.com. Contact him at geoff.rushton@statecollege.com or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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