The inaugural Food Truck Festival in Marion Square saw an overwhelming turnout on Saturday, which had the park filled with lines of foodies all eager to get a taste of the trucks’ cuisines.
Though some lines stretched the length of the park, the general morale among the crowd was surprisingly patient. People seemed happy to see the trucks getting a generous amount of business, despite their rumbling tummies. The truck operators were more than appreciative of the positive attitudes, and one even said, “I’m glad everyone understands we aren’t like a restaurant with staffs of people back here.”
The lines were about as long as the list of menu options in the park, with 13 trucks set up for service. Options included artisan coffee from the Local Market, southern cuisine from Hello ... My Name is BBQ and Geechee Island, and gourmet sandwiches from The Magic Cheese Truck and Strada Cucina. But with so many trucks to choose from, it was easy to satisfy a craving as long as you had the patience for it.
Once people had finally made it through the lines, they set out to find a vacant spot in the grass to enjoy their meal as they listened to live music. There were four performances throughout the day, including local blues rock group Old You at around 4 p.m.
When people weren’t lying in the grass or waiting in line, they were watching their kids in the jump castle or perusing the booths of local crafts and services. One notable mention was the Keys for Hope booth, where 7- and 8-year-old girls were selling their hand-decorated keys, which symbolized homes for the homeless. People seemed to fawn over the girls more than the keys themselves, but it was an effort that raised over $600 for Crisis Ministries by the end of the day.
The event was advertised as ending at 6 p.m., but the ravenous crowd started to drain the trucks of their supplies by about 4:30 p.m. Though some were disappointed that they hadn’t gotten to the park earlier, we didn’t see any hissy fits. One passer-by summed the day up well, saying, “It looks like it’s been a great day for Charleston’s food trucks.”