Texas Trucklandia Fest, Austin’s food truck taste-off for charity and a sweet $10,000 prize, is holding its 5th annual competition Oct. 21, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the Austin-American Statesman grounds. This time, they’re adding live music, a full bar, and a reality TV star’s truck.
The winner will walk with $10,000 and bragging rights for the next year, and local charity Keep Austin Fed takes home a portion of the ticket sale earnings. More than 24 food trucks have signed up for this year’s event.
Trucklandia has morphed over the years, but this year promises to be a full day of eating, drinking, dancing, and overall revelry.
What’s the Deal With Trucklandia?
Buy a Tasting Judge ticket for a sample at each participating food truck, and rights to vote for the grand prize winner. Trucklandia is limiting judge tickets to 1,000 this year, so competing trucks can provide enough samples to satisfy attendees. This means lines will be more manageable from the guest perspective, and prep time for samples will be more reasonable for the food trucks.
If you want to check out the scene and hear live music, but want to select which food trucks you sample, then buy a General Admission ticket instead.
This year’s festival pits 24+ food trucks against each other for the big prize. The $10,000 award goes a long way for a food truck trying to build its business. Another bonus for participating trucks is potentially attracting new patrons. One Trucklandia participant from prior years estimated a gain of around 100 regular customers since participating. Regular customers are the backbone of any business, especially new ones.
What’s New in 2017?
This year, Trucklandia’s dynamo of an organizer, Case Erickson, has kicked things up a notch, adding a full bar, live music, and a celebrity food truck.
DunlapATX of Rainey Street fame is providing the cocktail service this year at Trucklandia. Bartenders from Bridget Dunlap’s establishments (Lustre Pearl Rainey, Clive Bar, Container Bar, Lustre Pearl East, and COLLiDE atx) will be slinging drinks at the festival. Rainey Street Mule, anyone?
Dewar’s is bringing its mobile Scotch-tasting room, The John Dewar & Sons Traveling Whisky Emporium, to Trucklandia for the day, too. This unique tiny whisky house is an immersive Scotch experience. Trucklandia attendees will be able to taste specially-crafted Dewar’s 12 Blended Scotch Whisky cocktails, along with custom Scotch Eggs created by notable chef, Michael Voltaggio, served by local food truck legend, The Peached Tortilla.
From TV to Trucklandia: Jep’s Southern Roots
Reality TV star Jep Robertson, of “Duck Dynasty” fame, will be vying for the judges’ votes with his food truck Jep’s Southern Roots. Fairly new to Austin and the food truck game, Roberston’s truck brings down-home, southern style cooking to town.
His and his wife’s journey to launching the food truck is chronicled in the new show, “Growing the Dynasty: Jep & Jessica.” Originally a pot pie-oriented truck, Robertson and co. have expanded the menu to include a variety of family recipes.
Live Music Adds to Festival Vibe
Erickson, always looking to create an ideal experience for everyone involved in Trucklandia, decided to add a full roster of bands this year. While the official schedule is not confirmed at press time, participating acts include Barbara Nesbitt, Washboard Tie Guy, Braydon Zink, Devan Jones & the Uptown Stomp, Michael St. Clair, and the East Side Dandies.
How to Win Trucklandia
Each food truck provides Tasting Judges with one sample of a highlighted dish. Each of the 1,000 judges then votes for their favorite truck. The truck with the most popular sample wins the big prize.
General Admission ticket holders get to vote for the People’s Choice winner.
Feed Your Face, Spread the Love
“Feed your face, spread the love!” is the theme of Trucklandia. Feed your face with a sample from each food truck. Spread the love by voting for your favorite truck and donating to Keep Austin Fed through your ticket purchase.
This year’s participating trucks specialize in food as familiar as tacos and grilled cheese sandwiches, and as exotic as Peruvian and West African dishes. With his background as a restaurateur, Erickson wants Trucklandia to serve as a platform to help local food trucks raise their profiles and expand their businesses. He’s excited to be celebrating Trucklandia’s fifth year, when he’ll mark giving away a total of $50,000 to local food trucks and approximately $10,000 to Keep Austin Fed.
Texas Trucklandia Fest still has Judge and General Admission tickets for sale. This is one of my favorite food-oriented events of the year in Austin! Put on your stretchy pants, go forth, and chow down. You’ll have a good time for a worthy cause.
@theAustinot wants to know:
What is your favorite Austin food truck?