Prepare to be awestruck for York's fourth foodstruck
The popular foodstruck festival is returning next month for the fourth time, its second time taking over York City's Penn Park.
About 40 food trucks will feed the crowd at the event, which also offers a beer garden with craft beer, wine and wine slushies, musical performers and a craft market with vendors selling handmade goods, packaged foods and other wares.
Last year the event attracted about 13,000 people, most of them from outside the city, said organizer Jordan Pfautz. Foodstruck is organized by a group of 10 friends — not an official organization.
The event is a great way for people to rediscover Penn Park, which unfairly gets a bad rap, Pfautz said.
The event shares a purpose with First Friday, when downtown vendors and galleries stay open to attract patrons.
"First Friday, foodstruck, all those events play together to help people discover York and realize there's a lot happening here," he said.
Making connections: Pfautz opened his restaurant, Baron Von Schwein, on Market Street in York as a result of the contacts he made at the first foodstruck in 2013, he said. In addition to owning Baron Von Schwein, Pfautz co-owns the York City Pretzel Co. Both businesses have storefronts on Market Street and also participate in foodstruck.
Pfautz said he's looking forward to this year's event, during which he expects to serve hundreds of macaroni-and-cheese pork bowls. A customer favorite, the dish consists of pulled pork with sweet or spicy barbecue sauce topped with mac and cheese.
He also hopes to sample the offerings of other trucks.
Two food trucks new to the festival are Agin' Cajun, which hails from Harrisburg and sells Cajun and Creole fare, and Sven's Café, an Airstream trailer from Marietta serving breakfast food, tacos, sandwiches and pastries.
"The great thing about food trucks," Pfautz said, "is that, unlike a restaurant, they specialize in only a few things, so what they have is gonna be really good."
Getting it done: Meagan Feeser, marketing director at Downtown Inc, is one of the contacts that Pfautz made when he first became acquainted with the festival.
"For the first foodstruck, the organizers were paying the costs out-of-pocket," she said.
Vendor fees still go mostly to cover the costs of permits, fencing, tables and chairs, and to pay the musical performers, she said. Trucks pay $300 each, she said.
Last year's foodstruck brought in about $24,000 and cost about $20,000 to produce.
The organizers, who are all volunteers, use some of the leftover money to pay the musicians and reimburse some of the organizers for their time and personal contributions.
They also donate some of the proceeds to Bring on Play, a nonprofit organization that built the playground equipment at Penn Park.
"We want to give back to the group that's helping to beautify foodstruck's home," Feeser said.
In addition to the playground equipment, Bring on Play recently installed a splash pad in the park.
Crowds: At Penn Park, lines aren't nearly as long nor the space as crowded as when foodstruck was downtown, said Feeser. Stretching the event from four hours to seven hours also has made it less cramped, and the park, "a more serene atmosphere," gives people room to spread out.
Still, there will be lots and lots of people.
"Your best approach is to come with a group and then divide and conquer, to hit as many (vendors) as possible," Feeser said. "Then come together and eat family-style, to get a bite of everything."
If you're hoping for a slice of pizza from Forna Bova, she said, "Make that your first stop. Hit them up immediately. They only bring so much pizza dough, and they run out every year."
Beer drinkers can reduce their time spent standing in line for drink tokens by ordering a VIP ticket to the beer garden ahead of time: It's $15 for three beer tokens and a souvenir glass, and tickets are on sale now at foodstruckyork.com/beer.
What: Foodstruck, a food truck festival with 39 food-truck vendors and other food and craft vendors, a beer garden, music and activities for kids
When: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 6
Where: Penn Park, at the corner of College Pershing avenues in York City
Jordan Pfautz, owner of Baron Von Schwein: Grilled cheese from Mad Dash, Greek fries from Souvlaki Boys, and fried cheese curds from The Cow & the Curd
Meagan Feeser, co-organizer: Fried cheese curds from The Cow & the Curd