MINNESOTA FOOD TRUCK FAIR 2014
Third time is the charm. This weekend was the Third Annual Minnesota Food Truck Fair, and from what I could see it was a huge success. That, however, has not been its history.
The first Food Truck Fair took place two years ago and consisted of just 18 food trucks in a parking lot in the North Loop area of the downtown. Tickets for the event were somewhat pricey, and there were additional fees for people on top of that. Food vendors only accepted cash and the ATM machine onsite broke down during the event. In addition the event did not allow any beverages other than the craft beers that were offered there – so nothing non-alcoholic, not even water was available onsite. Also the food trucks were not very clear on their role at the event, and many of them sold out of food in the first few hours, leaving late-comers – or those waiting in long lines - hungry. From every account I’ve read, it was a dismal failure.
With such a high learning curve, it was a surprise that they offered the event a second year, but offer they did – with a number of changes.
The second year saw the event moved from the cramped parking lot downtown into the more active and vibrant Uptown neighborhood. In Uptown it filled the street for two city blocks, and the number of trucks was increased from 18 to 29. The event was now free, and offered a variety of beverage choices, as well as child friendly activities to make it appealing to families. Needless to say the Fair was more successful.
As I mentioned earlier, this was the Third Annual Minnesota Food Truck Fair, and the first I’ve attended. I was amazed at the number of people who that were there. Thousands of people chose from a very diverse selection of menus provided by over 35 food trucks, and listened to bands performing on two separate stages. The event spanned three city blocks and included two parking lots.
One of my favorite restaurants also has a food truck.
Anchor Fish and Chip has the best fish and chips I've found in Minneapolis.
I really enjoyed the Food Truck Fair. Not only did it provide a variety of delicious food (which sometimes required a 30-40 minute wait), it also offered a fresh, fun, and somewhat funky way to spend a summer Sunday, and from what I could see the event was a huge success. What an accomplishment for something that seemed doomed after it’s first year.