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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Five Dollar Food Fest is a mixed bag for customers and vendors

    Jonathan Terry

    Adelina Robinson lounges with coffee and food from Al Sur at the $5 Food Festival at the Kino Sports Complex on Saturday, March 26.

    Tucson was littered with food trucks Saturday. Unfortunately, hardly any of them were at Tucson’s first $5 Food Festival at the Kino Sports Complex. 

    The complex was riddled with hints of summer: Children ran around on the complex’s grassy field and danced to a local DJ,  while their parents lounged in light casual  attire. The smell of fresh, local cuisine emanated from food trucks scattered throughout the area.

    The event was held by Awesome & Delicious, a traveling event featuring local food vendors and boutiques. The 2016 tour takes place in twenty cities across California and Arizona. Unfortunately, low turnout left many vendors and consumers feeling underwhelmed. Still, others were enthusiastic about the event and look forward to future $5 Food Festivals.

    Jose Villasenor of J’s Kettle Corn is among the disaffected. He said that while the event was “not bad for the first time,” it’s unlikely he’ll be returning for future events because  he was led to believe more vendors would be present.

    Twenty-seven vendors—both food and boutique vendors—were advertised for Saturday’s event on Yet, many felt the event was understaffed and, with a cover charge on top of the $5 per dish, overpriced. 

    “It was OK,” said event goer Geordi Andreasson.  “Could have been better.” 

    Andreasson looked around at the scarcity of vendors.

     “At least the grass is nice,” he said.

    Awesome & Delicious donates a portion of its proceeds to a local community-based charity in every city it visits, which might have been the reason for the high prices. The chosen charity, however, isn’t listed on the group’s website. This doesn’t provide much comfort to the vendors either.

    In spite of this, some vendors, including Horacio Monserrat of Food Al Sur, were optimistic. He said consumer turnout was expected to be somewhere around 4,000  atendees but only around 1,500 showed up. Monserrat said he would be attending future events.

    Event goer Adelina Robinson, a vegetarian, had trouble finding something to eat despite the event’s page listing five vendors as vegetarian-friendly. She said out of the food she did manage to find, portion sizes were “more like sample sizes.” 

    Despite this, she said she had a good time and will return to future events. 

    “It was nice to see such a variety of people out,” said Robinson.

    Awesome & Delicious is in its second year of touring. While Tucson’s 2016 turnout wasn’t as predicted, it’s expected the event will continue to grow and gain popularity given Tucson’s enthusiasm toward local business.

    Follow Jonathan Terry on Twitter

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