The Streator Food Truck Festival, one of the most popular annual foodie events in Starved Rock Country, is set to return to Streator City Park from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 21. This spring edition of Streator’s popular open-air food fest, now in its sixth year, will feature more trucks than ever before. Fourteen food trucks, including three that are brand new for this year, will serve up delicious meals and tasty treats in Streator’s picturesque downtown.
This takeover of Streator’s City Park promises to be a banner event for food truck enthusiasts visiting Starved Rock Country. The Illinois food truck scene has grown substantially over the past few years, with trucks offering increasingly niche and delicious menu items. The Streator Walldogs, the hosts of this annual fundraiser event, were formed seven years ago to raise awareness to bringing historic murals to Streator in 2018. Now, the annual fundraiser has become a staple for the community and the organization.
“We are still meeting as a group and discussing other public art projects to do, as well as more murals,” Walldogs Marketing Manager Curt Bedei said. “This fundraising event has been very popular across the state, and it’s a great opportunity to talk to the public about our next projects.”
This year, the Walldogs add free live music to the day’s festivities, along with an artisan Maker’s Market, where you’ll find numerous crafts and local art available for purchase. Free yard games will be set up in the park for families and friends to enjoy.
“This is a great family-friendly event where you can enjoy some awesome food and play some games,” Bedei said. “One year, we had a family really get competitive with the Jenga game. It was entertaining watching them have a good time!”
Local acoustic rock favorite Dan Blanchette will take the stage at the Plumb Pavilion starting at 1:30 p.m. Then from 4:30 to 7 p.m, the noted rock ‘n’ roll tribute act Rosie & The Rivets will bring their electrifying, female-fronted, retrospective of the first 10 years (1954-1964) of rock history to the fest. Along with timeless favorites, you’ll hear girl group, R&B, surf, soul and early British Invasion hits – all featuring Rosie’s powerful and versatile voice, backed by an ensemble with extensive theater and roots music experience.
Streator is no stranger to making headlines for pop-up culinary events. In the fall of 2020, the Portillo’s food truck paid a visit to Streator after the community won a nationwide online voting contest. The stopover brought in countless customers and sold out multiple days, paving the way for even more success at future food truck events. The popularity of the Portillo’s truck and the Walldogs’ track record for hosting well-organized festivals have prompted new trucks like Smallcakes (a small-batch cupcake vendor based in Aurora) to sign on for next Saturday’s event.
“We saw online that they brought a good crowd to their events, and we thought the Smallcakes truck would be a great fit,” Manager Chloe Ma said. “I think what really sets our cupcakes apart is that we make all of our cupcakes fresh each morning, nothing is being shipped in or frozen. We’ll have cookies ‘n’ cream, red velvet, birthday cake and chocoholic, along with some gluten-free options and cake pops.”
With 14 trucks scheduled to attend, more than any previous iteration of the festival, guests can expect an exciting mix of new and returning fan-favorite offerings.
“This is the most trucks we have had since we started,” Bedei said. “Two of the trucks are local, while three are new, and the others are ones we have worked with in the past.”
Deb’s Kettle Corn will sell freshly popped bags of kettle corn, caramel corn, cheddar, and movie style popcorn, along with homemade lemon shakeups. Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, which have been attending since Streator’s inaugural Food Truck event, will offer its signature warm fresh-baked pretzels and pretzel hot dogs. The Between The Buns food truck is new for 2022, and will serve catfish nuggets, blackened or fried walleye and cod, shrimp po’ boys, bluegill, popcorn shrimp, calamari and hushpuppies. This is just a small sampling of all the exciting trucks that will attend next Saturday’s Streator Food Truck Festival.
The event is free to attend and is hosted in a large open park, with plenty of grassy areas for seating. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and/or blankets. Some on-site seating will be available. To see more trucks being announced, and for updates on future events, be sure to follow the Streator Food Truck Festival Facebook page.