York's first Foodstruck without rain draws 20,000
For the first time in Foodstruck York history, festival-goers made it through Sunday's event without a single drop of rain.
It was the first time attendees didn't have to worry about eating wet, soggy food or taking cover from a storm while in line at one of the festival's dozens of food trucks.
Instead, the main concern at Penn Park Sunday was finding a shady spot to eat.
Jen Orendorff, of West Manchester Township, and Michelle Bruno, of York City, both arrived at the event an hour early just to claim a spot in the shade, they said.
After more than 1,600 showed up at York's first Foodstruck event in 2013 in a torrential downpour, Orendorff and Bruno knew they'd have to arrive early on a hot, sunny day like Sunday.
Foodstruck co-organizer Philip Given estimated that about 20,000 people attended Sunday's event, up from about 13,000 last year.
"The park felt empty last year, but it feels like it's filling up today," he said.
Just under 40 food trucks, both local and from as far as Newark, Del., served a variety of foods from lobster rolls to cheese curds. The event also included live music, basketball, cornhole and a beer garden.
Last year, Foodstruck featured about 50 trucks. But this year, organizers wanted to focus more on quality than quantity, Given said.
Each food truck slimmed down its menu to offer only its most unique items.
"We wanted each truck to be a unique experience for people," Given said.
Some of the most popular foods of the day included the chicken, bacon, ranch and cheese stuffed pretzels from Uncle Paul's Stuffed Pretzels, jerk shrimp tacos from Sven's Café and cheese curds from The Cow and The Curd.
Baron Von Schwein, a York-based pork barbecue truck, also had a long line all day.
But the lines didn't bother the customers, at least not the ones who came in with a game plan.
Orendorff and Bruno said they learned from past Foodstruck events that the best way to try a little bit of everything and avoid long lines is to arrive early and "divide and conquer."
They sent each of their six friends to a different stand, and then brought all of the food back to their table to share it.
"Everybody tries a bite of everything so you see what you like," Orendorff said.
By the time they were finished, they had tried so many foods they lost count.
About midway through the day, several trucks started to sell out of food and drinks, Given said.
Papa's Kettle Korn sold out of lemonade by about 2:30 p.m., and Smoothie King sold out around 5 p.m.
Papa's Kettle Korn manager Joe Yank estimated that he sold about 800 cups of lemonade throughout the day.
The Treasure Island Beer Garden was also a popular place to get a cold drink. The beer garden, alone, went through about 2,800 pounds of ice and sold more than 4,700 beers, double the amount sold last year, Given said. The beer supply had to be replenished twice.
But aside from food and beer, attendees said they love coming to Foodstruck each year because it brings the community together.
"York needs stuff like this," Tony Marano, of Springettsbury Township, said. "People from the suburbs need to realize they can come to the city without being mugged, and people from the city need to realize they're no different from the people in the suburbs. We're one big family."