SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - Crowds of people buzzed around food trucks located between Fairview Avenue and Ward Place in South Orange Friday night at the Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival, as the blue tunes of the Dean Shot band filled the streets.
The Food Truck and Craft Beer festival, hosted by the Township of South Orange Village and the Irvington Avenue Corridor Advisory Committee, sought to bring more residents and visitors to Irvington Avenue to see what the area has to offer, according to South Orange Village Trustee Sheena Collum.
“[This event] brings a lot of people to Irvington Avenue, which has a lot of great businesses,” Village President Alex Torpey said. “Our goal is to support those local businesses.”
Collum said South Orange is looking forward to providing events like this in the future.
“South Orange is the type of community that really embraces and celebrates town-wide events,” Collum said.
Maplewood resident May Richardson said the festival is a great way to promote the activities South Orange has to offer.
“There are a lot of great people in this area, but there aren’t a lot of things to do [in South Orange], so most people go to the city for fun,” she said.
The streets were packed with families eating, laughing and exploring what the festival had to offer. But a family atmosphere wasn’t all that this event provided.
Gaslight Brewery & Restaurant hosted a craft beer garden in the municipal parking lot between W. Fairview Avenue and Ward Place. The beer garden boasted brews with a variety of different origins and flavors including a pumpkin ale for the holidays.
“We’ve been in business for 18 years,” Gaslight co-owner Tony Soboti said. “The town asked us to participate and we wanted to help.”
By 7:30 p.m., Torpey estimated the festival had 1,000-1,500 visitors.
The idea for the festival originated from the fall 2013 IACAC survey results, which concluded that residents wanted to see more neighborhood activities and street fairs happening in town.
“The local businesses and IACAC did a good job here,” Torpey said. “They’re the reason this is happening.”