HOPKINS, Minn. — One of the Twin Cities most popular and delicious free events of the summer, the Uptown Food Truck Festival, invades Mainstreet in downtown Hopkins on Saturday, July 23rd.
The event showcases 45 food trucks that are eager for you sample their delicacies all day long.
The trucks will line up between 11th Avenue North and 8th Avenue South near the Clocktower Plaza from noon through 10 p.m.
Organizer Jess Jenkins says bring a friend because there are so many foods of the world to sample, from lobster rolls from Maine to Spanish paella to New Zealand meat pies and Salvadorian pupusas.
In addition to the food trucks, the festival will include unique experiences on four wheels. Jenkins says there will be trucks showcasing fashion and clothing, a vintage record truck, photo booth truck and something pet friendly for the four-legged attendants.
The whole event is set up to benefit the charity Feed My Starving Children. “They’ve been our charity partner since 2016 and we’ve raised almost 300,000 meals since then and we’d like to get to half a million,” Jenkins said.
KARE 11 got a sneak peak of a couple of the food trucks that will be on site. The Paella Depot’s Doug Huemoeller was busy cooking up the well-known Spanish dish. “We call it the "hotdish of Spain" because there’s as many variations of paella as there is hotdish here in Minnesota,” Huemoeller said.
Next up, we chatted with Nancy Alayon who is serving up Salvadorian fare from the window of Que Tal. Their signature dish is pupusas, a thick tortilla stuffed with savory fillings like meat and cheese. “Food is a really creative outlet for me, and so I really wanted to celebrate and share Salvadorian culture,” said Alayon.
When it was time for dessert, Amish Annie Donuts' Courtney Olson was busy prepping her double raised, glazed donuts. They are finished off with either a sweet or savory topping and home-made whipped cream. “A few years ago my mum actually met an Amish family and they had invited her into her home where they taught her the recipe, and so she had named the truck after them,” Olson said.
The Uptown Food Truck Festival will also feature live music from local cover bands and a beer garden to get a freshly-poured handcrafted beer.
Test your skills with a game of life-size Jenga or ride on a mechanical bull. There’s also bean bag toss, henna tattoo artists and a psychic tarot reader.
As for parking, there are municipal ramps, neighborhood and street parking. However, it’s highly encouraged to ride share, carpool or take Metro Transit.
Watch the latest coverage from the KARE11 Sunrise in our YouTube playlist: