PARAMUS, N.J. — For a local promotion company specializing in the organization of some of the most exciting festivals the Garden State has to offer, the start of summer solstice and the muy caliente weather that accompanies it calls for an Empanada Extravaganza!

On Sunday, July 12, MegaBite Events will host the daylong food truck festival in the parking lot of Westfield Garden State Plaza outside Nordstrom’s from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. — a fête the organizers promise to be a fun day for members of the community to regroup and enjoy social interaction again (safely, of course) after three long months in quarantine. 

“Everybody wants to come out and be social at a distance,” said Organizer Howard Rosenblatt. “It’s about time we flip the switch and give New Jersey what they want. Let New Jersey eat again.”

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Fans of the heavenly baked or fried golden brown flaky pockets stuffed with savory fillings such as beef, chicken, vegetables and even guava, will be made available for purchase in the parking lot from a variety of food trucks famous for empanadas including Woodbridge Township’s Empanada Guy, Harry’s Lil Kitchen in Sayreville, and Jersey City-based Empanadas by Lady G, among others.  

“For some reason everybody loves empanadas,” says Rosenblatt, adding that there about 15 food trucks in New Jersey specializing in the Latin American treat. 

On the day of, noshers can vote for their favorite empanada food truck -- but don't have your fun at just those. There will be over 20 gourmet food trucks serving up a medley of mouthwatering summer bites including Glazed and Confused (mini donuts), Kong Bab, (Korean BBQ), Catlike Reflexes (sliders and tornado potatoes), Amanda Bananas (dairy-free banana ice cream), Jimmy Dawn’s (cheese steaks), Hudson Valley Kettle Corn (kettle corn and cotton candy) and many more, though these are subject to change.

Ghost Hawk Brewing Co. in Passaic will have their craft beer on tap, along with wine and hard seltzers. A bevy of refreshing non-alcoholic options will also be available for purchase.

Sunday’s event will feature live music from Grand Theft Audio and Upside Down, face painting for the youngsters, and various age-appropriate carnival games from bouncing houses to inflatable slides, a Jersey Shore boardwalk Game of Chance, and hatchet throwing, among others.

Hand sanitizer will be available and carnival games will be constantly cleaned and wiped down to maintain a safe environment, Rosenblatt said.

Families wishing to spend the day are asked to set up camp by bringing essentials such as hand sanitizer; personal protective equipment including facial masks; bottled water; folding chairs; portable eating tables; umbrellas; and sunblock. The event is pet-friendly, and dogs and cats are welcome at the festivities. 

Tickets are $5 per person online at Children 3 and under are free. 

Check the site for updates on this food festival and other events including their upcoming Preseason Tailgate Party on August 30, also on the premises.