Springfield Food Truck Festival is a hit on a sunny afternoon

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

SPRINGFIELD, NJ — More than 10 food trucks, vendors, a beer and wine garden and live entertainment by The Characters made for an excellent afternoon.

The Springfield Food Truck Festival recently celebrated its fourth year in the Springfield Community Parking Lot. It was presented by the Springfield Rotary Club, and its president, Lloyd Grossman, said, “It gets bigger every year.”

The food truck line-up included Il Forno a Legna, Tacos Daisis, Latin Bites, The Little Sicilian Riceballs, Cousins Maine Lobster, Mister Softee, Kona Ice, Rolling Kusina, Moocheeze, That Puddin’ by RB, Latin Fuego, Magic Mike’s Smoked Meats and Tunkas, to name a few.

Alisha McLean, owner of That Puddin’ by RB, offers homemade recipes. “Not sweet at all,” she said. Her vendor truck business began in 2016 and she will soon have a shop in Metuchen.

Sweet Treatz, a freeze-dried candy business, is run by Lori Kiempisty. She has a cottage license in Kenilworth. The treats are freeze-dried by a machine that takes the moisture out of the product and intensifies the flavor. Some of the freeze-dried items include fruit roll-ups, chocolate, Jolly Ranchers and Milk Duds.

SpiceGrove offers all-natural hibiscus drinks. They are fruit infused, all plant based with no GMOs, and gluten-free. Owner Audrey Powell, of Millburn, said, “My functional beverages can be added to alcohol for a cocktail mix.”

Pop Fizz Craft Sodas, run by Chris Wojo, has a regular spot at the Columbus Farmers Market in Columbus. Some of the soda companies have been around for more than 100 years. “They come from all over,” he said.

Wojo has been doing events for four years, with his store for almost two years. He said the frosty blue cream soda is the biggest seller. His personal favorite is the Hosmer Mountain Root Beer because they use brown sugar.

Kona Ice offers ice treats in any flavor. Nicholas Ramirez, manager, said blue raspberry is the most popular. They’ve been in business for six or seven years.

Tunkas is a family-run food truck, in business since 2022, and owned by Sonia Gallardo and Dany Caballero. Tunkas are Bolivian empanadas – raw dough formed from flour, sugar and salt – with various fillings. They are vegan-friendly. Their vegan empanada is filled with mushrooms, carrots, bell pepper, potatoes, onion, herbs and Bolivian spices.

Mister Softee is a father/son operation. The son, Tristan Acosta, said they’ve been in business since 2021. A popular item is their cherry dip, which Acosta called “a classic.” Customers also favor the vanilla rainbow sprinkle and shakes.

“Old folks like the sundaes,” he said. “They were always part of the menu.”

R-Creations is a family-owned business that produces homemade resin products. “Everybody makes their own thing,” said Sandra Richter. “Animals, dragons, woodwork, candle holders …”

Sandra, along with her husband, William Richter, and their daughter, Gabriella, started making products during the pandemic as a hobby. Then they had “way too much stuff,” Sandra said. Therefore, they took what they created and began making a profit.

During the festival, Union-based rock band The Characters played three sets to a large, appreciative crowd. They performed popular hits such as, “Rocket Man,” “Mrs. Robinson,” “American Pie” and “Summer of ’69,” in which vocalist Danny Solazzi cleverly flipped lyrics, mentioning Route 22.

The Characters are made up of Solazzi, lead vocals and guitar; Danny Roselle, keyboards; George Massina, drums; Antony Fanelli, bass; and Damian Fanelli, guitar.

Prior to their first set, Solazzi said he was having a great time and really enjoyed the pizza from Il Forno a Legna.
Bandmate Antony Fanelli, agreed, “The pizza was excellent!”

To learn more about The Rotary Club of Springfield, visit its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/springfieldnjrotary/.

Photos by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta