Thirty-five food trucks from Dayton, Columbus and Cincinnati as well as Kentucky and Indiana are set to compete in the Springfield Rotary Gourmet Food Truck Competition on Sat, Aug. 16 in Veteran’s Park from 11am – 9pm.
Dayton area trucks that are signed up to compete include:
Go Cupcake, C’est Cheese, Harvest Mobile Cuisine, Hunger Paynes, McNasty’s, PA’s Pork and Zombie Dogz.
The winner of the $10,000 grand prize for Best Food Truck Cuisine will be decided by a panel of local celebrity judges, which includes:
- Doug McGregor, chef and owner of Seasons Bistro in Springfield
- Amelia Robinson, food writer for Cox Newspaper in Dayton
- Tina Pavlatos, chocolatier and president of Visual Anatomy, LTD in Springfield
- Steve Neely, Rotarian and president of Armoloy of Ohio in Springfield
- Mary Kay Smith, chef and owner of the Winds Cafe in Yellow Springs
Smith, a restaurant owner for more than 35 years, enjoys seeing passionate chefs who focus on five or six specialty items to feed the public.
“I’ve seen the evolution of food and dining from access to ingredients, the Localvore movement, Food Network and star chefs,” Smith said. “I love the idea of food trucks and their ability to set up, feed people in parking lots, street corners and special events.”
In addition to the grand prize for Best Food Truck Cuisine, 12 anonymous judges will choose winners of Best Truck/Cart Design, Best Customer Service and Best Menu, all of which will be awarded $1,000. Each truck receives a $500 stipend just for participating.
Running from 11 am to 9 pm, the competition will also host live entertainment featuring four local bands –
The Ark Band– from Columbus – play roots reggae, calypso and soca music
Cowboy Hillbilly Hippy Folk – who claim their style is “wandering and waving through the grass”
Omega Point – a Springfield band that plays festivals and nightclubs
The Temps – The nerdy, musical geniuses play upbeat renditions of dance cover music from the 80’s to today.
And of course their is a beer garden for those 21 and older. Admission to the event is free. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and if you bring pets, they must be on a leash. Veteran’s Park, where the event will take place, was formerly known as Cliff Park, is located on the edge of Wittenberg University campus at 250 Cliff Park Road.
The money raised from the competition’s numerous sponsors will go toward the Springfield Rotary Club’s charities – Services to People with Disabilities, Polio Plus (the worldwide eradication of Polio) and the International Project in Lesotho.