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VOL. 132 | NO. 65 | Friday, March 31, 2017

Midsouth Food Truck Fest Returns in May

By Andy Meek

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Midsouth Food Truck Fest organizer Stanley Perrin is preparing for the May 13 return of his yearly bash celebrating food truck culture in Memphis and is hoping to outdo the attendance numbers of the festival’s first two years.

Lunch customers queue up at Stickem Food Truck during a recent food truck rodeo at Court Square Downtown. The Midsouth Food Truck Fest on May 13 hopes to gather more than 70 food trucks at Tiger Lane. 

(Daily News/Andrew J. Breig)

The one-day event, which once again is set for Tiger Lane at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, drew some 10,000 foodies in 2015, its first year. Last year, the number grew to 14,000, and this year Perrin is hoping the addition of new activities and attractions helps that number get even bigger.

Many of the trucks from last year will be on hand again. The list of participating food trucks is still subject to change, but already it includes names like Stickem, Gourmet Grillers, El Mero Taco, The Soul Pig and 3 Women and a Truck, among others.

“Last year, it was a good event, and everyone had a lot of fun,” Perrin said. “This year is coming together slowly but surely.

“Last year, we had 72 trucks. We’d like to get back up to that number. Right now, we’re at around 50. We’ve also extended the hours this year. We used to run 11 to 4, and we’re going to run 11 to 8. The gates close at 7, with everyone out of the park by 8 o’clock.”

The idea for the festival came about because of the reality of the food truck experience in Memphis – how, as Perrin told The Daily News when he founded it, it can be hard to find all the food trucks sometimes. Memphis isn’t a city where they’re often congregating together, making the festival an attempt to gather as many as possible in one spot and give people an opportunity to sample and enjoy.

That’s also the thinking behind why Tiger Lane was chosen as the spot for the festival. It’s a wide, open space where attendees can easily walk around and sample the different trucks.

Stickem Food Truck owner Ermyias Shiberou told The Daily News his truck is participating to complement the festival’s efforts toward celebrating food truck culture in the city.

“Also, Midsouth Food Truck Fest seems to get better and better each year,” Shiberou said. “And it’s proof that people are embracing food trucks in Memphis.”

General admission is $5 for advance tickets or $8 at the gate. Among the additions to the festival this year, meanwhile, is the “Very Good Beer Experience.” For $35, which includes general admission, participants will get to sample around 26 to 30 different types of beer from across the country.

The festival also is adding a “no line, no wait” tour of the park, which for $45 gives the participant general admission, access to the beer event and “no line, no wait” access to five food trucks to sample.

And teams can participate in the DeAngelo Williams Foundation’s “Thrown for a Cure” cornhole tournament. The team admission fee is $69, and proceeds benefit breast cancer awareness.

Tickets are available at midsouthfoodtruckfest.com, and a portion of this year’s proceeds will go to help the Dogs 2nd Chance rescue group. Like last year, this year’s festival will also include live music, artist and craft vendors on hand – and plenty of foodies eager to sample the best of what the city’s trucks have to offer.

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