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First-time events are often hit and miss as far as the number of people who turn out. But in the case of the inaugural Sedona Food Truck Festival, it was definitely a hit.

With an estimated 3,000 people turning out on Saturday, March 25, it went beyond expectations of the host, Sedona Parks and Recreation.

“Overall the event was a huge success,” Recreation Coordinator Ali Baxter said. “In the words of our City Manager [Justin Clifton], ‘our only problem was that we were too successful.’”

The event, which was held at Posse Grounds Park, featured 13 vendor trucks from throughout Northern Arizona along with one beer tent and live music. And while temperatures were on the cooler side and dark clouds rolled in, Mother Nature was cooperative for those enjoying things from Mexican dishes to funnel cakes to hotdogs with all the fixings.

“The vendors were thrilled with the day,” Baxter said. “Some sold out too early and others sold out right at the end. I haven’t gotten to talk to all of the food vendors yet, but the ones I have spoken to said that if they can go home with empty trucks, it’s been a great day.”

She said as expected, they had a handful of unhappy patrons, but overall people enjoyed the event and are asking them to do it again. But before they do so, she said they would like to have more feedback from patrons and vendors. She asked that people contact the Parks and Recreation Department or comment on their Facebook page.

“I think this is a great idea,” Cottonwood resident Tanya Lemming said. “I am surprised with the turnout — much better than I expected. I think the area needs more events like this that draws people of all ages. But if they do it again, I do hope they bring in even more vendors because as you can see, the lines are pretty long.”

Baxter said they will definitely be holding another festival — whether it’s in the fall or this time next year.

“This was a first-time event that we will learn from and grow from,” she said. “We surely did not anticipate attendance of over 3,000 people and the vendors simply weren’t equipped to handle that amount of traffic.

“That being said, next time we will have an estimated attendance. With the first event under our belt, we will have at least double the food vendors and will begin booking vendors further in advance to give more variety. With this first event being such a success, it will make it much easier for us to get more food trucks as well.”


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