Good news for adventurous foodies: The 10th annual Cape Cod Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival will be held Saturday afternoon, and there are expected to be 30 food trucks and close to 50 craft beers, seltzers and ciders to choose from.
Organizers of the gourmet food truck festival, held at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds in East Falmouth since 2012, expect at least 4,000 people to enjoy this local event, which will offer several types of food not included in the past. The event is one of more than a dozen such food and brew fests in the New England area sponsored by Food Truck Festivals of America (FTFA).
“People want to be out there to try different foods and enjoy fun family events,” says Anthony Pepe, FTFA’s owner and executive producer. Last year’s Cape festival, which reopened after missing a year due to COVID-19 concerns, attracted what he calls a “huge” attendance following the forced hiatus.
With about 10 additional food purveyors this year, he says he hopes that people may “hang out and stay longer to enjoy the day,” with an added opportunity to vote online for their favorite gourmet truck.
Besides eating and drinking, there will be chances to play lawn games like cornhole and giant Jenga, face-painting and an inflatable bounce house for the kids. Live music will play throughout the day, and there will be an artisan market of creative crafters whose booths will show off apparel, jewelry, glassware, crafts, candles and treats and supplies for pets.
From several food trucks new to the festival, look for flavors from Lebanon via the truck Villa of Lebanon; Italian pizza favorites from PieSons; empanadas from Latin America provided by Matilda; and an iconic New England menu from Cousins Maine Lobster, a food truck business that began in 2012 with an on-air boost from ABC’s long-running TV show “Shark Tank.”
All food offerings are cooked right on the premises, according to the festival website, offering a wide range of flavors from around the world.
Signs posted at the festival will suggest imaginative food and brew pairings for the palette, according to Pepe. Three Decker Helles Lager, courtesy of Dorchester Brewing, pairs great with Trolley Dogs, advertised as “the best hot dogs in New England,” for example, he says. Passionfruit Gose (with a hint of sea salt) is suggested as a good choice to match pies from the Whoo(pie) Wagon.
The Sausage Guy’s sweet and hot Italian sausages could go down nicely with a swallow or two of A Year With Dr. Nandu IPA brew, from Aeronaut Brewing. Or pair up Lost Tropic Mimosa Cider from Graft Brewing with fried pockets or “bits” (panko-encrusted cheese curds) from the Friskie Fries truck.
Attendees are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets, spread out and enjoy the feast and the fun.
Pepe, who calls himself “a radio person” after a long media career, still hosts an evening sports talk radio show out of the Boston area. He joined FTFA in 2018 as its director of operations, and became the company’s owner in November 2020.
The FTFA organization bases most of its annual festivals in the New England area, where many of Pepe’s “core trucks” operate, but he’s also commanded festivals in Florida, New Mexico, South Carolina, Wisconsin and Alabama. A few of the trucks, such as a popular macaroni and cheese truck out of New York and a BBQ truck from Tennessee, travel widely. Each truck is licensed and permitted in order to meet food safety specifications.
According to the FTFA website, the concept of food truck events as a “new trend in dining out” began more than a decade ago, and traveled rapidly to the New England area. The first “gourmet” food truck event in southeastern Massachusetts – changing the old image of a truck dispensing pre-packaged snacks or sandwiches – was held near Plymouth in 2011, drawing thousands of curious foodies. The first event on the Cape happened a year later.
If you go
What: 10th annual Cape Cod Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival
When: Noon to 5 pm Saturday, Aug. 6 (VIP package entry at 11 am); held rain or shine
Where: Cape Cod Fairgrounds, 1220 Nathan Ellis Highway (Route 151), East Falmouth
Admission: $5 advance online purchase only, $10 at the gate; free to ages 12 and under. VIP packages available with early admission tickets. Free entry for military and first responders with valid ID.
Online tickets and menu information: https://www.foodtruckfestivalsofamerica.com/cape-cod