GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Art of Food Festival kicked off Friday in downtown Grand Rapids.
There were food booths on Calder Plaza, 320 Ottawa Avenue, and over 30 food trucks along Ottawa Avenue on Friday, Sept. 15. Foodies can enjoy a variety of food at the event throughout the weekend.
A few organizations and the city of Grand Rapids Office of Special Events teamed up to bring the community together around a love of food, including Festival of the Arts, Artprize, GR8 Food Trucks, and the Grand Rapids Food Truck Association.
Organizers picked a great day and are benefiting from foot traffic from ArtPrize, the 18-day international art competition that started Thursday and the two-day Grand Rapids African American Art & Music festival getting underway at Rosa Parks Circle.
Downtown is buzzing with activity on a mild, sunny day.
The Art of Food Festival also includes musical performances at Calder Plaza art activities, artist village and a beer tent as ArtPrize goes on in the downtown. The festival ends at 8 p.m. Friday, runs Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
“I got an olive burger and it’s excellent,” said Shawn Buggs, a youth advocate from Innovation Central High School. “We brought a group of students and we toured ArtPrize today and then we stopped and ate at the food trucks.”
The Bigfoot Burger Co. food truck was selling “Olive You, Man” burgers – a 1/2 pound Bigfoot Blend Burger, homemade olive spread, lettuce and tomato served on a brioche bun with a 1/2 half pound of fries.
“The burger is big, really big,” said Innovation Central 9th grader Jinnicye Thomas, 15, who was also eating an olive burger from the Bigfoot Burger Co.
Food trucks include Tamales Mary (authentic Mexican food), Crepes by the Lakes (sweet and savory crepes), Fire and Rice Paella (Spanish paella), Underground Cookie Club (artisan ice cream sandwiches), Thai Cottage Cuisine, Dune Buggy (beach burgers and fries), Street Chef Shaw (Mexican and Swahili fusion) Jedi Chili (chili and chili dogs), On the Roll (pastas served on garlic rolls) and Furniture City Creamery (ice cream.)
“I think it’s good because we expect a lot of people,” said Mary Martinez, owner of Tamales Mary, who operates the food truck along with restaurant locations in Wyoming and Grand Rapids’ Eastown. Martinez said she plans to be downtown during ArtPrize for the next three weekends.
Art of Food Festival has several local partners including ArtPrize, Festival of the Arts, GR8 Food Trucks, Grand Rapids Food Truck Association and the City of Grand Rapids Office of Special Events.
Music is from WLAV-FM, 105.3 HOT FM, and Thunder Country 107.3 FM.
For more information about the Art of the Food Festival, click here.
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