It’s back! The popular Greater Pittsburgh Food Truck Festival returns to The Meadows Racetrack & Casino this coming weekend.
“We are very excited to be hosting the Greater Pittsburgh Food Truck Festival again this year,” said Carole DeAngelo, advertising director of the Observer-Reporter, who co-sponsored the event with the casino. “What (the community) said was, ‘We want this event back.'”
The event will take place July 16-18 at the venue on Racetrack Road in North Strabane Township.
The festival was skipped last year due to COVID-19 and has been planned with the pandemic in mind to make sure it is safe. This includes the date since the event has been rescheduled from its usual Memorial Day weekend to July.
“We met with The Meadows several times to find out what we thought would be a safe date for us to follow CDC guidelines and protocols,” DeAngelo said.
The delay worked in the festival’s favor as Pennsylvania lifted all coronavirus-related restrictions in late May.
This year’s event also marks the fifth anniversary of the Food Truck Festival. With this marking and the recurrence of large public gatherings after a year of isolation and business closings, DeAngelo recognizes that the festival has a special meaning.
“It symbolizes how strong our community is. How exciting it is to have our Washington County community attracting everyone in the area, ”DeAngelo said. “The Food Truck Festival is the largest food truck festival in our region. I feel like the community can’t wait to have everyone back together. “
The festival will be smaller than usual – there will be 31 instead of around 50 food trucks. DeAngelo said, “It wasn’t an easy task” to involve so many food trucks.
It’s been a difficult year for restaurant owners, especially those who run food trucks. Some of the vendors that have participated in the festival in the past are no longer operational.
“I realized that we all as a community need to support our local businesses as best we can because they are struggling,” said DeAngelo.
The Greater Pittsburgh Food Truck Festival opens on Friday at 5 p.m. with the Family Fun Night. There will be activities for children and Viennese dog races on the horse track.
“It’s a sight to behold,” said DeAngelo.
The festival continues through the weekend with musical performances. According to DeAngelo, there will be a variety of food trucks with some familiar staples like pierogis and patti’s pastries, as well as some new attractions. Craft beer and wine as well as regional artisans and vendors are on offer.
The festival starts on Saturday at 12 p.m. and on Sunday at 11 a.m. Admission is free.
Although it was difficult to pull together, DeAngelo said the organizers were determined to make the festival a reality.
“There was absolutely no ‘we can’t’ feeling,” she said. “Nobody said we couldn’t do that.”