Food Truck Festival brings people, business to New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Saturday was a busy day in New Haven. A dragon boat regatta drew a big group of people who gathered by the water to watch. The Third Annual New Haven Food Truck Festival was held nearby on Long Wharf Drive, bringing in people and money.

The road was lined with food trucks for much of the day. There were more than 20 in all, serving up everything from Mexican food to kettle corn to ice cream sandwiches.

“I love the variety of food,” said Elizabeth Mangan of Wethersfield. “I’m big into locally grown, locally harvested food.”

Saturday was a busy day for food truck employees and owners. Tony Schaffer has had his Four Flours food truck at the festival every year.

“It’s great being out here,” Schaffer said. “It’s a beautiful day. It’s great seeing everybody in New Haven. It’s a profitable event for us.”

Telat Bozan, owner of the Sultan Kabob food truck, was hard at work in his truck. He and his employees grilled meat and chopped vegetables.

“Everything’s made out of this truck,” he said.

The city is serving up new regulations for food truck owners. Starting on July 1 they will be paying more for vendor licenses. They will also have to set up in certain approved areas in the city, like on Long Wharf Drive. Some owners are not happy about it, but others see the glass as half full.

“We’re very optimistic we’ll get a good spot,” said Schaffer. “We’re actually kind of looking forward to having a permanent spot where we can park the truck in New Haven.”

The city says the changes to come will mean a greater variety of food, more food trucks and fewer generators near them.

“We’re getting plug ins so they can get 240 volts just like a marina,” said Matthew Nemerson, Economic Development Administrator for the City of New Haven. “They can plug their food trucks right into an outlet.”

The hope is for less noise and pollution around the food trucks on Long Wharf Drive.

“We don’t have to run the generators, that’s another good thing about it,” said Bozan.

There was also a competition to see who could ride the longest wheelie on a bicycle.

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