Springfield Competition Stands Out Among Other Ohio Food Truck Festivals

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (June 7, 2016) ­ On Aug. 13, the third annual Springfield Rotary Gourmet Food Truck Competition will showcase 35 food trucks all vying for the title of “champion,” with a wide variety of cuisine like gourmet hot dogs and sandwiches, pierogies, empanadas, sweet treats and much more, from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. in Veterans Park.

Springfield’s must­ taste event of the summer provides a classic festival atmosphere, featuring live music and a diverse food selection, while also putting a unique spin on the typical food truck rally, making it to stand out among similar events.

“The Springfield Gourmet Food Truck Competition is the best I’ve ever heard of and I’m very excited at the chance to compete with trucks from other states and also, hopefully, sample some food,” said Alex Emrich, owner of the Street Thyme food truck from Columbus, Ohio, a first ­time competitor in the Springfield event.

Rather than having food trucks simply serve guests, listen to music and enjoy the atmosphere, the competitive aspect of the event spices things up for both vendors and customers. Vendors compete for a $10,000 grand prize, a $2,000 runner ­up prize and three $1,000 superlative prizes for Best Truck Design, Best Customer Service and Best Menu, all of which are chosen by a group of celebrity and roaming judges.

Since the event is a competition rather than just a festival, vendors are more motivated to put their best dish forward in order to take home the prize money, said Edward Bell, Rotary member and Food Truck Competition marketing committee chair.

“Attendees are also more engaged because it’s a competition­ style event,” said Bell. “They try to guess who will win by sampling food from many different trucks.”

The food truck craze has swept across the United States in recent years, and the Buckeye State is no exception. In Ohio, the Columbus Food Truck Festival is the largest food truck event in the state, while other major cities like Cincinnati and Dayton host similar events. But Springfield’s event was one of the first competitions of its kind.

“I enjoy coming to the Springfield Gourmet Food Truck Competition mostly because it is a true food truck festival and the organizers care about the food trucks and our success,” said Jim Pashovich, owner of Pitabilities, a food truck from Columbus. “It’s great that it is a competition rather than just a festival. One of the best events I like to attend.”

Vendor applications are still available for this year’s event at springfieldfoodtruck.com/foodtruckvendors.

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