As Street Eats Food Truck Festival rolls into its eighth year, founder David Tyda is focusing on consistency rather than expansion.
So this year, he’s sticking with more than 50 vendors, guaranteeing patrons can find the food type of their choice.
“The event is the proper size for what it should be,” Tyda says.
He would know. He’s also behind the Arizona Taco, Phoenix Pizza and Downtown Donut festivals. Street Eats is family friendly, and hosts a diverse food choice while hosting interactive activities.
“Street Eats was one of the first food truck festivals in Arizona,” he says. “The beauty of having 50 food trucks is that you get to touch on almost every food group.”
Street Eats offers a unique twist to food truck festivals. Every vendor provides a $2 sample for customers. Because of this policy, customers can afford and experience multiple food trucks, Tyda says.
“The $2 sample is the thing that makes us unique and attractive,” Tyda says. In addition, the festival will hold several competitions and games like the hot dog-, “dirty donut”- and Saltine-eating contests.
“One of the most popular parts are the eating contests,” Tyda says. Customers are encouraged to participate in these contests where they can win several prizes such as gift cards and Spring Training tickets.
Music is another element of the festival. This year, the festival focused on bringing popular local bands to the stage, Tyda says. Lighthouse, The Haymarket Squares, Some Dark Hollow, People Who Could Fly and Sleepwar perform on February 16, while School of Rock Sugar Skulls, People Who Could Fly, Celebration Guns, The Voice’s Josh West and The Random Gingers hit the stage on Sunday.
“We’ve put more energy into curating a good lineup of bands,” Tyda says.
Diana Santaspago has been part of the festival since its inception with her truck, The Maine Lobster Lady. Santaspago says the festival is an event she cannot miss. Because of the $2 sample, the customers are more inclined to try food they normally wouldn’t try, she adds.
“It’s a really large gathering of food truck and vendors,” Santaspago says. “You get a diverse mix of foods and culinary styles, all in one place.”
Street Eats Food Truck Festival, Salt River Fields, 7555 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale, streeteatsaz.com, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, February 16, and Sunday, February 17, $12 general admission, $75 VIP.