Come February 19, there will be a big picnic in Central Park. Two thousand people have already signed up to come, but the best thing is nobody has to worry about too many bowls of potato salad.
That’s the first indication that this ain’t yo grandma’s picnic.
The event, officially named The Santa Clarita Food Truck Festival, will be the biggest gathering of gourmet food trucks ever in our fair city. More than 40 trucks, offering cuisine from comfort food to Chinese-Mexican fusion and everything in between and around will be open for business for the guests’ dining pleasure.
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Just last week, eight food trucks came to the Old Town Newhall Farmer’s Market and drew 3,200 people to order food from brightly colored wagons. The relatively short waiting times made for easy socializing and everybody seemed happy.
That’s the goal of organizer Dan Silberstein, of the company DrinkEatPlay.
“I want this to be the first food truck festival where people don’t leave pissed off,” he said, referring to events in other communities. He’s also cautious about the reputation earned by last summer’s mini-food truck gathering at the Bridgeport Marketplace, of being too raucous for families to have a good time.
“The reviews from Valencia were that it was too loud,” he continued. “I want this one to be family picnic-style, people can bring their blankets, lawn chairs and EZ-Ups and set up camp in Central Park.
Tickets for the festival are priced at three levels, all aimed at crowd control and minimizing the time people stand in line for food.
The event runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; VIP tickets ($20) get you in at 11 before the other riffraff (the $5 ticket holders) are allowed in at noon. Tickets will be available at the door for $10 each, but those folks won’t be allowed in until 2 p.m. For tickets, go here.
“I’m hoping that we sell 4,500 tickets in advance and 5,000 at the door,” Siberstein said. “I told the trucks to being enough food for 10,000 people.”
DrinkEatPlay is the company behind TributeFest, which attracted a sizeable crowd to Central Park last year and is scheduled again for May 7.
“The idea for this initially was to promote TributeFest to people in Valencia,” Silberstein said. “That’s the one I want to get off the ground.”
Two charities are also being helped by the event, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry and the Noah’s Bark Animal Rescue (based in Torrance, but serving Los Angeles County shelters).
“We’re doing a canned food drive for the Pantry as well,” he added. “Both charities will get some of the money.”
Trucks confirmed as of today include:
Baby’s Badass Burgers
Chunk ‘n Chip
Clean Street Food
Crepe N’ Around
Great Balls On Tires
Greenz on Wheelz
Kabob N’ Go
Mac n’ Roll
Me so Hungry