Anne-Marie Aigner had organized a variety of events in the Boston area – music, movies, art – but last summer the Watertown resident came up with an idea to take advantage of a growing trend – food trucks.
Last summer Aigner, the executive producer for Food Truck Festivals of New England organized three, all of which drew several thousand foodies.
“I saw food trucks were very popular on the West Coast and the trend is moving East,” Aigner said. “I did outreach to as many trucks as we cold find. At the time there were not a lot.”
Just over a year ago she found about 8 to 10 to put together a mini-food truck festival at The Pinehills in Plymouth.
“People came from all over,” Aigner said, adding that about 5,000 attended the event. “Most of the people there had come from elsewhere, as far north as Boston. The trucks all ran out of food. It was the best day the trucks ever had, and I said, whoa, we have something here.”
Two more festivals were held in October and they drew twice the number of people as expected, Aigner said. One in Framingham drew 7,000 and another at Suffolk Downs in East Boston which had 10,000 attendees.
New Year, More Fests
With that success, Aigner and Food Truck Festivals of New England decided to take advantage of the popularity of such events and put together a series of 11 food truck festivals.
One of the festivals will be right across the river from Watertown in Brighton’s Artesani Herter Park on July 28. In future years she hopes to bring one to her hometown of Watertown.
Originally, only five food truck festivals were planned, but then people began asking them to come to their cities.
“Some of the communities came to us, like the city of Worcester – a city councilor asked us to come, and the Hingham shipyard approaches us,” Aigner said.
She could have done more – she recently got requests to do festivals in a number of cities in Connecticut – but Aigner said 11 was enough this year.
The festivals will leave Massachusetts, however, as one is planned for Salem, N.H., and one in Newport, R.I.
The organizers considered having entertainment and music at the events, but when they surveyed attendees they said they just want more food, Aigner said. The group now has a list of 150 food trucks to draw from.
“We are hoping for minimum of 25 trucks at each event,” Aigner said. “You buy a ticket, then get a ticket book, with tickets for one portion from every truck in any order.”
General admission tickets cost $30 and there are a limited amount of VIP tickets for $40. Plenty of food will be on hand, but Aigner suggests festival goers get there early.
“Our goal is to reassure the guest they will get plenty of food, though we encourage them to come early,” Aigner said. “The trucks are not going to be able to serve 10,000 portions each.”
For more information about the Food Truck Festivals, visit the group’s website, foodtruckfestivalsofne.com. You can also find information about the Food Truck calendar featuring pin-up models posing with the food trucks. The calendars are being sold to raise money for Community Servings, a Massachusetts organization that prepares and delivers 7,500 lunches and dinners each week to the homes of almost 775 individuals and families who are home bound with an acute life-threatening illness.
2012 Planned Festival Schedule
- June 10 – The Boston Food Truck Festival at the UMass Boston Campus Center, Boston, MA
- June 16 – The Charlestown Food Truck Festival at Pier 4, Charlestown, MA
- June 30 – The New Hampshire Food Truck Festival at Rockingham Park, Salem, NH
- July 14 – The Worcester Food Truck Festival at Elm Park, Worcester, MA
- July 28 – The Charles River Food Truck Festival at DCR’s Artesani Herter Park, Brighton, MA
- Aug. 25 – The Cape Cod Food Truck Festival at Barnstable Fairgrounds, Falmouth, MA
- Sept. 8 – The Lowell Food Truck Festival at the Tsongas Center, Lowell, MA
- Sept. 22 – The Suffolk Downs Food Truck Festival, East Boston, MA
- Sept. 29 – The Shipyard Food Truck Festival, Hingham (Shipyard), MA
- Oct. 6 – The Framingham Food Truck Festival at Shoppers World, Framingham, MA
- Oct. 20 – The Newport Food Truck Festival at the Newport Yachting Center, Newport, RI