Food truck fans attend first ever festival

Marlboro, Md. resident Candace Williams enjoys a dish from Tapas Truck, one of many food trucks present at the first annual Funky Fresh Foodie Fest Saturday. Jordan Emont | Assistant photo editor.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Julie Alderman.

The Half Street Fairgrounds were flooded with hungry foodies Saturday afternoon, who lined up to indulge in Korean barbecue tacos, paella and strawberry lemonade cupcakes served up by some of the District’s most beloved food trucks at the D.C. Funky Fresh Foodie Fest.

Despite a small downpour, foodies flocked to sample all the delectable dishes.

“People live to come out to these events where you have a lot of food trucks in one location,” said Asher Huey, an organizer of the DC Food Truck Association. “People can come out and try everything.”

Festival attendees Will Pickering, 24, and Dan Li, 22, lined up at the D.C. Empanadas truck moments after chowing down on mussels. They both claimed that the diversity of the trucks was the event’s largest draw.

“If I’m going to be paying seven dollars to get into a food truck place, I might as well get some exotic stuff,” Pickering said.

Pleasant Pops, a food truck specializing in gourmet popsicles crafted from local ingredients, made an appearance with a diversely flavored pops, including peach hibiscus and strawberry ginger lemonade.

“A truck is such a good way to get your brand out there,” said AnneMarie Ashburn, director of communications for Pleasant Pops. “It’s a great way to introduce yourself to D.C.”

Pleasant Pops, a well-established food truck with a soon-to-open brick and mortar store in Adams Morgan, found this event a great opportunity to work with other food trucks and increase publicity for their truck.

The Trucky Awards, announced by Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton D-D.C, were another highlight of the event. Norton noted that she has given out her fair share of awards to children and at graduations, but this opportunity was a first for her.

Norton was also quick to show her support for food trucks.

“Our food trucks are there for us – rain or shine,” Norton said, commenting both on the nature of food trucks and the day’s spotty weather conditions.

The big winner of the awards was Fojol Brothers, who walked away with three accolades, including best truck design, best music and best outfits.

The festival even made an impression among food truck regulars. Rob Elson, 28, claimed to eat at nearby food trucks about once a week for lunch while at work. Coming to the festival, Elson was only familiar with a handful of the District’s many food trucks.

“I usually go for the kabob food trucks,” Elson said.

After witnessing the variety of trucks, Elson noted that he was excited to try TaKorean Korean BBQ Tacos, which he was unacquainted with before attending the festival.

Besides an exposition of D.C.’s finest cuisine, D.C. Funky Fresh Foodie Fest proved an exciting event for some of D.C.’s most prominent musical groups, including songstress Flo Anito, rock and roll group Sean Chyun and the Deceivers and 80s rock group Judo Chop. Well-fed and ready for some fun, festival-goers were invited to participate in a rousing karaoke contest.

Food, music and District culture came together for an albeit rainy, but delicious day.

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