Food truck festival offers more than food

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The New Haven Food Truck Festival is this Saturday. It’s a great way to kick off the summer season of outdoor activities, and this year, it also previews some great things coming up for New Haven.

New Haven’s Long Wharf is getting famous for its food trucks, and this Saturday you’ll get to sample two dozen of them at the third annual food truck festival.

“Everybody who likes to eat should attend,” said Mayor Toni Harp at a preview press conference Thursday morning.

The festival is about more than just eating. For the second year, a dragon boat regatta will provide some entertainment.

“The teams in the dragon boats are made up of up to 20 people, plus a drummer, plus a steersperson and you can have 20 people from all walks of life, men, women, young and old and they can compete,” explained John Pescatore. He is part of Canal Dock Boathouse, Inc. That group is sponsoring the regatta. That group is also adding an impressive new boathouse to New Haven Harbor.

For the food trucks, there are also new additions. The whole parking area has been redone, with crosswalks, and high tech garbage cans. In a month, they won’t have to run those noisy generators, because each truck will have an electrical hookup.

“We call it the new Long Wharf. Re-imagine the Long Wharf,” said New Haven Economic Development Director Matthew Nemerson. “It’s safer, we can now have 30 trucks, instead of the 15 before, so we have twice as many trucks.”

There is also a third component to the festival. They are going to cordon off part of the parking lot and have a wheelie competition. You bring your own bike, and whoever stays up on their rear tire the longest wins. The top 3 finishers get a share of $500 in prize money.

“I think a lot of these kids can ride over ten minutes long for a wheelie, so we’re going to be interested how long this lasts,” said Aidan Charles of the Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program, which is sponsoring the wheelie competition. “Maybe it’s going to be a good test of endurance and skill.”

His group is taking part to promote another new addition to the Elm City – the New Haven Gand Prix, a bicycle race coming up in a few months.

The festival runs from noon-7 p.m. Saturday, June 3rd. The wheelie competition is at 2 p.m., the dragon races are at 4 p.m. There is no fee to come to the festival, or to enter the wheelie competition.

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