By Melissa Proulx, Staff Writer
Hundreds swarmed to the parking lot of the Redhook Brewery for the first ever New Hampshire Food Truck Festival on the beautiful fall afternoon of Sunday, Oct. 5.
“Who knew New Hampshire liked food trucks so much?” said Janet Prensky, one of the organizers of the event who was working admissions.
As she collected the $5 admission fee from the long line of incoming attendees, Prenksy said there were so many people who came in, she couldn’t even begin to estimate the number of people who had passed through the front tents. She warned about the long waits in line for the trucks, but she said there had been little complaints.
“The good news is that, after three hours, no one has run out of food [completely],” she said.
Running from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., the festival featured more than a dozen trucks from all over New England. The medley featured everything from the classic favorites at Roxy’s Grilled Cheese from Allston, Massachusetts, and Gabi’s Smoke Shack from Hudson, New Hampshire, to the sweet treats of Clyde’s Cupcakes from Exeter, New Hampshire.
There was even a Whoo(pie) Wagon from Topsfield, Massachusetts, to add to the eclectic flavors of the Uyghur Kitchen from Watertown, Massachusetts, and Jamaica Mi Hungry based in Boston, Massachusetts.
It was this variety that first attracted the father and son duo of Doug and Spencer Kilgour from South Berwick, Maine, and Dover, New Hampshire.
Spencer, who found out about the event from the “big old sign” on the side of the road, waited over an hour in line for one of Roxy’s Grilled Cheese. But he didn’t seem to mind.
“It was well worth the wait,” he said, with a full mouth and a smile.
With a complimentary photo booth, face painting and live music from Waldo, the Boston-based band, attendees were able to enjoy more than just food.
Amanda Basso from Rochester, New Hampshire, said she was more looking forward to “meeting new people.”
“I didn’t know what to expect coming in; I had no preconceived notions,” she said. “It’s cool, but it’s a little crowded.”
And with the crowd and the wait, the food truckers themselves worked with a graceful elegance. When peeking into the Trolley Dogs, onlookers could see all hands on deck at the back grill.
Clyde Bullen, owner of Clyde’s Cupcakes who was able to briefly step away from his truck, said when it came guessing how much product to bring for the day, he “just took a guess.” Carrying about 2,000 cupcakes and a number of other baked goods in the truck’s refrigerator, Bullen said he ran out of his store’s specialty shortly before 3 p.m.
His bright pink converted truck is two months old, though Bullen said it was a process — not to get it up and running — but to get it registered in the state.
“You have to go through a lot of hooplas to get it approved,” he said, explaining the tedious process of having to go from town to town to get approvals from each.
“I’m registered everywhere but Durham, Hampton Beach and Portsmouth,” he said.
Though this was the first festival of its kind in the Granite State, Prenksy said it was one of the many stops for the 2014 Food Truck Tour held by the Food Truck Festivals of New England.
Anne-Marie Aigner started the New England-focused organization back in 2012. Prenskey, who has worked with the organization since the beginning, said this particular festival was their fifth so far, with the next one stop in the tour set for Saturday, Oct. 25 in Newburyport, Rhode Island, at the Newport Yachting Center.
With the unexpected, mind-blowing outpour of support, Prensky said she’s positive that they’ll be back for more in the future.
“Based on this, it looks like we’re going to come back, but next time with more trucks,” she said.