By JACQUELINE DURETT
EDISON — Specialty fare on wheels —it’s what the food truck trend is all about, according to Councilman Joe Coyle.
The trend is an opportunity to bring the community and those sought-after trucks together, and that is just what the township will be doing this weekend.
Edison’s inaugural Food Truck Festival will take place this Saturday, Aug. 20, from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at Papaianni Park at the municipal complex off Route 27.
“This is the new trend of what a carnival once was,” explained Coyle, who is also the executive director of the township’s Chamber of Commerce. The nearly three dozen trucks participating include those selling waffles, tacos, cupcakes, empanadas, cheesesteaks and kebabs.
“The list of people who are coming are known vendors throughout the tri-state area,” Coyle said. “All of them have their own following.”
He said the festival was already in the works when he took over as executive director nearly two years ago. The event planning firm, JMK Shows, has handled much of the work of bringing the festival to fruition.
However, he admits the timing of Edison’s festival right after a similar festival in Woodbridge last weekend was not ideal timing.
“If I knew about [Woodbridge’s festival beforehand], I don’t know if I would have done it this weekend,” he said.
Saturday’s festival, though, will have plenty to offer to those who attended Woodbridge’s event and those who did not. The Edison version also will feature craft beers, including ones from Edison’s own Cypress Brewery, as well as wine and music and family-friendly activities, such as face painters, artists and retailers.
Coyle said he hopes the festival will be the first of many like it to come, depending on how long the food truck trend lasts. But he said he also hopes to establish relationships with the individual food truck vendors so in the future they can attend other events in the township where a few food trucks may be a good fit.
He also said that for some food truck vendors attending, a brick-and-mortar establishment may be on the horizon, and he would like them to consider Edison should that be the case.
He said vendors, who have food truck experience and want to have a restaurant, are ahead of their peers who are starting a business from scratch, and they and Edison alike can benefit from their food truck experience.
Likewise, he said he hopes self-described “foodies” from around the region will attend and also see the value in Edison.
When asked what Coyle was most looking forward to, he responded, “I’m a dessert guy.”
Admission to the festival is $5; children 10 and younger will be admitted free. A rain date of this Sunday, Aug. 21, is planned.