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Food Truck Fiesta Rolls in to State College to Benefit THON

by on September 12, 2018 9:00 AM

Penn State student special-interest organization Apollo hosts its second-annual State College Food Truck Fiesta from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday in the parking lot of Grace Lutheran Church, 205 S. Garner St., in downtown State College.

The event, which benefits THON, is led by a key group of students. Their idea for a local food truck festival was first realized last year, with seven food vendors attracting more than 2,000 community members.

The primary organizers for the event are Apollo members Abby Young and Selma Paul. They began pulling together the event details earlier in the summer and are excited to see the final fruits of their labor this Friday.

“People think State College isn’t able to have such a big event, which I think is what makes the idea so novel and successful,” Paul explains. “There are a lot of food trucks here, but they’re never all together. They’re dispersed. One of the events where you can find a lot of them is the Grange Fair, but otherwise you’d find maybe two or three at one farmers market, maybe one at another, so our goal was to bring them all together.”

Young agrees. “People just don’t realize the amount of different food trucks and businesses in the area. If you don’t go to a farmers market around here you probably wouldn’t know just how diverse these businesses are.”

This year, the event features 10 local and regional food trucks, including several repeat vendors from last year. The young women say they’re grateful to those who came the first year and believed in the group’s dream, gave it a chance and showed up to a parking lot in hopes that people would stop by. “It ended up being very, very successful, more successful than we thought it would be. I think our vendors definitely noticed that,” they say.

Several musical acts have volunteered to perform during the charitable event, including a yet-to-be-announced live band and DJ.

In addition to the Apollo leaders who’ve helped Young and Paul put the event together, Young notes they’ve also had 40 volunteers who signed up to help the day-of, many being freshmen new to the area. “We’re excited to get them out there to help orchestrate the actual event itself, whether that be entertainment, or taking pictures, or making sure all the food trucks are okay or finding tents because of the weather.”

Their goal for Friday? “We just want everyone to have a positive experience. We just want it to be a great community event.” They also hope to set a precedent of growth for the years ahead, so that the State College Food Truck Fiesta continues to take place year after year.

Young and Paul recommend festival-goers arrive around 5 p.m. to miss the longer lines and, if you want to try several or all the food trucks, divide and conquer — bring along friends, so everyone can hit a different truck, then meet back up to swap and share.

The family-friendly, dog-friendly event is planned to occur rain or shine, with the organizers noting that, “If Penn Staters can show up for the entirety of the Pitt game last Saturday, I think they can show up for some great food and to help the kids out while they do it. [We] have faith in the community.”



Holly Riddle is a freelance food, lifestyle and entertainment writer. She can be reached at [email protected]
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