By Mike McCombs
If there were any doubts going in, the 4th annual Beaufort Food Truck Festival, held Saturday in Port Royal, was a rousing success.
The festival, held for the first time in two years because of COVID-19 and after undergoing a few changed was packed.
“Things went phenomenally, honestly,” Lowcountry Jaycees President Nick Mayrand said. “The only thing we were really worried about was the weather and the weather came and went. I’m extremely proud, proud of my committee and our chairperson Ashley Doucette.
“I had tears in my eyes when the festival opened and I looked out and every truck had a line of people waiting for food.”
Mayrand said he’s not certain just how big the crowd was, possibly as big as 5,000 people.
“There’s no way to tell,” he said.
“We made plans for 2,500, but we were definitely over that number. It was definitely very well received.”
Among the changes this year were the addition of a petting zoo for the kids, a beer tent for the adults, a move to Port Royal from Beaufort Town Center, and, most notably, extended hours until the evening, meaning organizers could schedule more entertainment and sell more beverages, while festival-goers could attend for lunch and for dinner, if they so desired.
The Food Truck Festival is the signature event of the Lowcountry Jaycees. Most of the proceeds will benefit Jaycee Camp Hope, a statewide residential camp for individuals with intellectual disabilities aged 7 and older. Camp Hope, established in 1969, strives to give campers healthy experiences outdoors through four summer sessions. Benefits include exercise, outdoor activities, personal growth, and social development with peers and caring adults.
The Jaycees will use the remaining proceeds for local community causes.
Mayrand said organizers still have to have their wrap-up meeting, so he couldn’t really discuss plans for next year, yet. But he definitely wants more trucks.
“We were really excited,” Mayrand said, “because we think can expand next year.”
Mike McCombs is the editor of The Island News and can be reached at TheIslandNews@gmail.com.
Photo by Bob Sofaly
EDITOR’S NOTE: Lowcountry Jaycees President Nick Mayrand’s published a statement to the Beaufort Food Truck Festival’s Facebook page where he thanks far too many people to fit into this story. His statement can be found at https://www.facebook.com/GRUB4HOPE4.