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ALTON - The rain didn’t stop community members from enjoying a day of food and music at the Alton Food Truck Festival this weekend.
Attendees flooded the Alton Amphitheater to try 18 different food trucks on Saturday, Aug. 26. This year marked the ninth year of the Food Truck Festival, and people were excited to check out old favorites and try new meals. Dan Herkert, the chair of the Alton Amphitheater Commission, said the festival is a fun night for the City of Alton and usually draws 5,000 people to the riverfront.
“This event’s fun just to see all the people, the melting pot of people from our community and the surrounding area, having a good time,” Herkert said. “There’s a whole lot of division in the world today, but seeing people having fun, making new friends, enjoying good music and good food, is always a bonus.”
The food truck owners echoed this sentiment, noting that they enjoy catching up with other trucks and sharing their food with new communities. In past years, almost every food truck has sold out by the end of the four-hour event.
“What we like most about coming out to these festivals is that we have a camaraderie with all the different food trucks,” said Christi Robertson, owner of Soul Burgers. “We all have a relationship with each other. It’s just great to be out here, to be able to serve the community, meet new people and possible new customers, and to see old customers as well.”
And there were plenty of people to meet. Most of the Amphitheater’s space was crowded with tables and families splitting meals from different food trucks. The band Push the Limit played throughout the evening. Kyle Finke, the owner of Mr. Noodle, said this is what he loves about working these events; his food truck allows him to meet new folks and see new places.
“I get to see a lot of cool stuff, meet a lot of cool people, talk to other food truck owners,” he said. “I love doing what I do.”
Herkert noted that the festival is always a great night for the City of Alton because people come to the Amphitheater for the event and then venture downtown. They spend money at other local businesses, which further supports the community.
“It really allows people to experience what Alton has to offer,” Herkert said. “They get to experience our city. They come from not only Alton, but the surrounding region, and they usually end up leaving here and visiting some of our other shops and bars and restaurants.”
He added that the Amphitheater Commission will start planning next year’s food truck festival in the next few weeks. Alton Mayor David Goins recognized the work that went into the festival, and he gave a “shoutout” to Herkert and the rest of the Amphitheater Commission for a “great turnout” and successful evening.
While clouds loomed overhead, the rain held off for the full event from 4–8 p.m. The cooler weather encouraged many people to spend that time outside at the Amphitheater, enjoying the music and, of course, the food.
“The weather is absolutely gorgeous. The food is absolutely delicious,” Goins summarized. “It’s just a great time, and so I’m just excited to be here.”
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