After a decade of showcasing a wide variety of delectable dishes to satisfy the palette of foodies, the 2022 Columbus Food Truck Festival is to show festivalgoers how to hone their culinary skills.
The 11th annual Columbus Food Truck Festival is Aug. 19-21 at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, 4100 Columbia Road in Hilliard.
The festival is to be open from 4 to 11 pm Aug. 19, 11 am to 11 pm Aug. 20 and noon to 7 pm Aug. 21.
Single-day tickets can be purchased for $5 and weekend passes are available in advance and online only at columbusfoodtruckfest.com for $10.
Children 12 and under are admitted free but must be accompanied by an adult.
Parking is free.
New at this year’s festival are cooking demonstrations presented by the United Soybean Board and featuring Chef Chad Rosenthal.
Rosenthal, a restaurateur and celebrity chef who has appeared on Food Network programs, “Next Food Network Star,” “Chopper” and, most recently, “Beat Bobby Flay,” where Rosenthal ‘beat’ Flay with his motel fried chicken, is to showcase the preparation of the now-famous original entrée at 3:30 and 7 pm Aug. 20 and 1 and 3 pm Aug. 21.
The vendors are selected for both quality and variety, said Chas Kaplan, the festival’s co-organizer.
Kaplan and Mike Gallicchio own MGCK Food and are cofounders of the Columbus Food Truck Festival, first held in 2011.
The inaugural festival was at Columbus Commons in downtown Columbus. In 2018, it was relocated to the Scioto Mile, adjacent to Genoa Park.
It was canceled in 2020 because of COVID-19 and when it resumed last year, it was as a three-day event at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.
“It was an A-plus experience for us. We had a great experience there and a great crowd,” Gallicchio said last year after the final day of the festival.
This year’s lineup of food vendors includes returning favorites and several first-time appearances.
“We take our time selecting trucks for the festival and this year was no exception. We encourage our guests to expand their palettes and try something new,” Kaplan said.
The cuisine at the festival reaches all the ends of the foodie spectrum and includes modern twists on traditional American classics to Hawaiian Asian fusion, Native American street food and everything in between, Kaplan said.
New at this year’s festival are AllenMarie’s Delicious Dishes, El Sabor de la Vida, Kabobske Mediterranean and Lacame.
Returning vendors include Cupzilla, Fork in Nigeria, Island Noodles, Momma Can Cook and Tortilla Street Food.
A full list of vendors can be found online.
Although food is the obvious and central attraction, other kinds of entertainment can be found at the event.
The festival is to showcase two stages – a main stage and acoustic stage – filled with live performances throughout the three-day event.
Main stage headliners are to include Willie Phoenix on Aug. 19, Angela Perley on Aug. 20 and The Winnie Cooper Project on Aug. 21, supported by a variety of other acts all three days.
Acoustic stage performers are to include Vivid Gardens, Joey Viola, Mark Rhodes, Cortney Gail and others.
Children’s activities can be found at the historical village in Weaver Park, adjacent to the Franklin County Fairgrounds.
Sports fans are to have the opportunity to meet Zed Key, a forward on Ohio State University men’s basketball team.
Key is to sign a maximum of two items for each paid festival admission from 1 to 4 pm Aug. 21.
A portion of the proceeds from the benefit festival the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio and Music Loves Ohio.
Both nonprofits have an established history of serving children and families in and around central Ohio and since the festival’s inception, organizers have donated over $75,000 to local charities, according to Sheila Rossiter of Rossiter Marketing and Public Relations.
The typical attracts visitors from throughout central Ohio.
Anthony Czyzewski of Westerville, his wife, Katrina, and their son, Vincent, visited last year for the first time.
“We like everything we have tried,” including churros, noodles and ice cream, Czyzweski said.
Brian Frenck of Pickerington said last year he had been to the festival six or seven times.
“I love the scenery of the Scioto Mile, but I like the layout (at the fairgrounds) and the parking was easier.”
Frenk said the annual event expands his palette.
“I always look for something new each time.”