CHS Food Truck Festival Instagram

The Charleston Food Truck Festival is back for a 10th year, but with a new date, venue and slightly different format. After postponing the event that takes place annually in January, Charleston Food Truck Festival organizers are ready to invite 40-45 savory and sweet food trucks to North Charleston Riverfront Park May 22-23, festival co-founder Cory Burke told the City Paper

“For us, it’s the largest venue we’ve ever had,” said Burke, who co-owns Roti Rolls food truck. “We feel really good about being able to social distance with the five acres.” 

The 9th annual festival took place in January 2020 just before the onset of the pandemic, and when January 2021 rolled around, Burke said, “it just didn’t feel safe or right to try to put it together.” 

“The May date just kind of fell in place” in part because of the cancellation of crowded music concerts and festivals that normally occupy the outdoor waterfront venue on the old Navy base in May. 

In order to put on the event, organizers have implemented several safety measures. There will be temperature checks, trucks will be spaced 10 feet apart and festival staff has been asked to present a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination, Burke said. Admission and parking are free, and patrons looking for alcoholic beverages will have to pay just $1 for a wristband before lining up for a craft beer, Bloody Mary or one of two craft cocktails that will be served throughout the weekend. 

You won’t find the carnival or live music like in years past, but there’s already an impressive lineup of trucks that have committed to the event. Look for Tamashii, Roti Rolls, Lola’s Lumpia, Flight, Holy City Cupcakes and many more at the festival. 

“It was so important for us to be able to pull it off this year,” said Burke, recalling the first ever festival, which took place at Marion Square. “We started it as food truck owners for food trucks. The goal was to share the wealth with the trucks.” 

According to Burke, the festival has secured dates in June for the next three years at Riverfront Park. Organizers are also looking into adding a fall festival, Burke said. 

The Charleston Food Truck Festival will take place May 22-23 from 12-8 p.m. For more information, visit chsfoodtruckfestival.com