Hoping to keep up with the trends, members of the Galesburg Young Professionals are bringing local and regional food trucks in tandem with local artists to put together a day long festival featuring everybody’s two loves: food and art.
The festival will take place on Saturday, Sep. 23 from 11a.m. to 7 p.m. in downtown Galesburg. There is a $5 entry fee for adults, while students with their ID and children under twelve can enter free of charge.
The Chairman of the GYP Kyle Kelley thought that the event would be both economically and communally beneficial to Galesburg.
“I’ve always been intrigued with food trucks. I’ve thought that Galesburg could use a more vibrant food truck scene. It’s kind of a growing industry and with my job in economic development I kind of see it as something we could actively bring into the community.”
While the festival highlights the younger community members of Galesburg, Vice Chairman of the GYP Tiffany Springer is hesitant to say that the event is specifically geared towards youth.
“I think this is an event for the entire community–friends, family members, young, old. We want everyone to come and enjoy this unique festival. And hopefully lay the groundwork for it to be sustainable in the sense that we can do this every year,” Springer said.
In addition to gearing the event towards all ages, Springer hopes that partnering with the Galesburg Civic Arts Center will bring in a wider variety of people and artists to the event. While attendees may not be intrigued by the food truck aspect of the festival, they can still enjoy art demonstrations and live music performed throughout the day.
“We just wanted to do as much as we could to really enhance the food truck festival. Food trucks are great but you really want to have something else that’s going to draw another demographic of the community. So we partnered with the Civic Arts Center to have them engaged in it as well. We thought food, art, music, those were kind of the three things that really draw people out, especially young professionals and the younger people in our community,” Springer said.
The festival will consist of around seven to nine food trucks, from local to as far as Peoria and Springfield, and will feature a variety of food such as barbecue, pizza and coffee.
Owner of Henn House BBQ Phil Hennenfent notes that having a food truck allows him to hae a wider range of customers, as he is not confined to a stationary property.
“I like being a food truck [owner] because I can go to where the people are,” Hennenfent said. “If there’s an event, I can come set up and it’s easier on the organizers. I take care of all the food and you don’t have to be in brick and mortar and hope that people choose you over another restaurant.”
Hennenfent hopes that the festival will not only help him with business, but will also bring exposure to the growing industry of food trucks.
In addition to the start an annual event, Springer hopes that the festival will be a significant step forward in forming a better relationship among the community.
“We tend to hear a lot of negative things about Galesburg. We need these events, we need to rally our community behind them. So I’m just looking forward to having a good time, having a fun day with family and close friends and attendees,” Springer said.