EAST HANOVER, NJ - This Sunday, May 21, the East Hanover PBA Local 227 Civic Association will be holding its third annual food truck festival at Lurker Park in East Hanover. And according to Jesse Novalis, President of the East Hanover PBA Local 227 Civic Association, “this year is going to be one their biggest years, so far.”
About four years ago, when Novalis was Treasurer of the East Hanover PBA (Policemen’s Benevolent Association), they decided they wanted to increase their charitable donations within the community. Since the PBA is a state-wide union, where they are a little restricted in doing certain fundraisers like raffles, Novalis and the 35 members of the East Hanover Police Department resolved that they would create the local Civic Association.
As Novalis stated in a phone interview, “As a separate entity made up of all the members of the East Hanover PBA, we’re now allowed to do certain things that we weren’t allowed to do as a PBA.”
They started with doing a Super Bowl Raffle where, in November, they raffled off two tickets to the Super Bowl. However, they wanted to expand and do more.
Back in 2015, Novalis and the other members of the Civic Association noticed there was a rise in popularity with food trucks. Novalis stated that a friend of his attended a food truck festival at Morris County College and saw how successful it was. That’s when he decided that the Civic Association should give it a try as a fundraiser.
He spent many hours calling up different food truck vendors to see if they would join him in the first annual food truck festival in East Hanover. However, “many of the food trucks were skeptical because they were not sure you’re going to put the time and the energy into promoting the event.”
The first year they had only fifteen trucks. Thirteen out of those fifteen trucks ran out of food; that’s how successful it was! Since then more people have been coming and more food trucks have been participating. This year, Novalis stated that there will be twenty-eight trucks (including Oink and Moo BBQ, Bacon Me Crazy, and Cupcake Carnivale) and they are anticipating 6,000 to 8,000 people.
Will you be one of those thousands of people to attend?
Again, it is being held this Sunday, May 21, 2017, at Lurker Park in East Hanover. It is $5 to enter. Free-parking. Dogs are welcome, as long as they are on a leash. Plus, there will be non-food vendors there, as well, along with some fun activities for the kids and local rock station 105.5 WDHA. They will be there giving away some great prizes and providing some great rock music.