Bayonne held its third-ever Food Truck Festival on May 14, with many attending the annual event after a two year hiatus. First offered in 2018, the festival was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, city officials decided conditions were stable enough to have the festival come back in full force in 2022, although it was delayed a week from May 7 to May 14 due to inclement weather.
Despite the one-week pushback, the festival went off without a hitch, with crowds of residents taking advantage of the many choices of food trucks and other vendors.
Many food trucks lined Avenue E from 22nd to 24th Streets from 12 to 7 p.m. The avenue was closed between those streets all day to accommodate the trucks and foot traffic, and the city encouraged residents to arrive via Light Rail given the close proximity of the 22nd Street Station.
A myriad of chefs from different cultures were eager to bring their cuisine to Bayonne.
In addition to food trucks, other food vendors lined the avenue with grills and stove tops. They served hungry guests hand-held dishes from under the shade of their canopies.
The aroma of the freshly-made foods wafted throughout that portion of Avenue E. It was a sensory overload of good smells and even better-looking dishes.
Some incredibly tasty condiments were also for sale to enhance the food. From a wide array of pickles to an assortment of homemade hot sauces, diverse options were on display.
Fresh squeezed lemonade, cookies, and other snacks were ready for purchase on top of the other good eats available to attendees. Most people the Bayonne Community News spoke with came hungry and left happy.
Non-food items were also for sale, ranging from sunglasses to jewelry and more. Sand art was set up for children, among other activities and vendors.
There was an elaborate set-up of bounce houses and inflatable obstacle courses in the parking lot of the Bayonne Family Community Center, right off of Avenue E and 23rd Street. Many children took joy in climbing across the obstacles or jumping in one of the facilities.
Next to that on 23rd Street itself was a beer and wine garden for adults, where those over 21 could enjoy a cold beverage on the warm day. There was additional seating outside the area for the general public at Sister Miriam Theresa Park just to the side.
In the cordoned off area within the beer and wine garden, people could play games like oversized Jenga or extra large Connect Four, as well as corn hole. If not interested in games, seating was available to sit and relax or socialize.
At 23rd Street and Avenue E was a small stage, where Mayor James Davis gave a short speech to commemorate the event: “Today is a great day. First we started by opening our Buddy Baseball season. And now we open our spring, summer, and fall festivals with our fabulous food truck festival. Let’s give up to the band kicking us off this morning: The Empire.”
Following that, a band known as The Empire kicked off the live music entertainment. The band provided the perfect ambience to the lively food festival.
The annual event picked back up right where it left off pre-COVID. And the city undoubtedly looks to continue that success in 2023.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.