LIVINGSTON, NJ – The third annual Livingston Summerfest International Food Truck Extravaganza kicked off the summer season by offering an assortment of food and drink options from frozen chocolate-covered cheesecake to empanadas in order to raise funds for Livingston’s volunteer first aid squad. Despite the weather, thousands supported the First Aid Squad Food Truck event as well as the Livingston Sunrise Rotary Duck Race fundraiser and the Livingston PBA Fishing Derby at Littell’s Pond.
The event was held for the first time on a Sunday in order to open the door to religious residents who would not have been able to attend on Saturdays as well as those who like to take advantage of Saturday sun by heading to the beach. Guests from the Livingston area and beyond visited the approximately 25 food trucks that lined the outskirts of the high school parking lot and represented Thailand, Italy, Columbia, Mexico, Japan, Greece, China, Taiwan, Australia, Puerto Rico, Latin America and the United States of America. The high school cafeteria was opened to those who preferred to eat indoors, and RWJBarnabas sponsored several bounce houses adjacent to the food truck area.
“All of the events that took place on Sunday—the food trucks, the duck race and the fishing derby—were wonderful events run by great volunteers and the police department of our town,” said Mayor Ed Meinhardt. “Despite the not-so-great weather, we had great turnouts. The food was delicious and the money raised from the food trucks certainly went to a great cause helping the volunteer first aid squad, which obviously does great things for so many of us here in Livingston. We’re happy to support them and I’m glad that the town came out to help them.”
Those who came for a diverse food experience were not disappointed. Among the popular items were Sicilian rice balls, coconut shrimp, gourmet burgers and empanadas, authentic Columbian meat pies, custom-designed lobster rolls, Kosher tempura and sushi, old-fashioned soda pop and avocado toast.
A $5 admission charge to the food truck event benefited the Livingston First Aid Squad.
“The Livingston First Aid Squad is a dedicated group of individuals who take time out of their days and nights and family time to help Livingston residents in distress and in need,” said Meinhardt. “They never say no—they get up in the middle of the night, they leave their meals, they leave holiday parties and actually even leave town meetings when called upon. The town and all of us should recognize their efforts, applaud their efforts and try to support them whenever and however possible.”
At 3 p.m., Littell’s Pond was the site for the Livingston Sunrise Rotary Club’s Duck Race, which involved more than 1000 plastic, numbered ducks sold throughout Livingston in the weeks leading up to the event. The race was sponsored by Regal Bank, Investors Bank, PIP Printing and CareOne, and is one of many chartable projects the club undertakes during the year.
During the day, Livingston Senior Youth & Leisure Services’ (SYLS) also held a Haines Pool Open House.
Livingston Summerfest International Food Truck Extravaganza was sponsored by Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Sacks Orthodontics, Exploria Resorts, the West Essex Tribune, Renewal by Anderson, Kids at Heart, Harte Orthodontics, Duet - Curated Consignment, Nana's Deli & Restaurant, Susie Ornstein Polow, Ellen Gonik Realtor-Coldwell Banker, Andy's Family Music Center, Dan Katzeff and Livingston Insurance Agency.