BAYONNE, NJ - More than 5,000 residents and visitors headed to Avenue E Saturday for the city’s 2nd annual Food Truck Festival.

32 food trucks offering a wide variety of cuisines to suit every palate lined the usually business thoroughfare allowing foodies to choose from offerings that included Italian, Korean, Greek, Polish, Thai, Cuban, and American dishes.

A beer garden for adults extended down one city block while rides and amusement gave kids some added excitement. Live bands played from a stage set up at the end of 23rd Street as dozens danced away the calories consumed by visiting the various trucks.

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“Coming together for a great meal has been a tradition for Bayonne families for generations, and in many ways today’s event is a continuation of that,” Mayor Jimmy Davis told TAPinto Bayonne. “This festival also reflects a changing Bayonne, one that is becoming more diverse, more culturally rich, and, I believe, even better than ever before.”

Waiting for her order from Mozzarepas, Anna, 10, said that the event was great, an opportunity, her aunt Jocelin added, to “bring more people to Bayonne.”

“This is healthy for the city,” Jocelin added.

Asked why food trucks and festivals such as Saturday’s have become so popular Hervey Leon, the owner of Mozzarepas, suggested that diners still want high quality food but don’t want to pay restaurant prices. Mozzarepas is a family business, now boasting six trucks that travel up and down the East Coast as well as one that had just opened the same day in Chicago.

“The quality of food coming off these trucks is outstanding,” Leon said as he placed more sweet cornbread filled with mozzarella cheese on the grill. Giving an added salute to Mother Nature Leon asked “who wants to be inside on a day like today?”

Among those enjoying the perfect Spring day were Linda Martino, Nohra Defago, and Carol Kelly, who kindly offered this reporter a spot at the picnic table they had claimed as their own in the beer garden.

With decades of Bayonne living among them the women spoke of the truck choices for “foodies” saying that the multicultural flair of the event “reflects what Bayonne is becoming.”

“If we want to attract young millennials,” Defago said pointing to Mayor Jimmy Davis’ efforts to continue to bring new residents to the city, “Bayonne has to become that.”

Each sharing their own viewpoints there seemed to be agreement among the women that local leaders are doing a good job integrating “old and new” Bayonne.

“This was a good thing today,” Defago offered, saying that she hasn’t spent a day just enjoying her hometown in a long time. “Today I had a choice to stay here to do something, and I did.”

 

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