Sumter Green is bringing its Food Truck Festival back to the Sumter fairgrounds, truly “by popular demand,” said Lynn Kennedy, chairwoman of the nonprofit organization whose mission is to keep the community’s environment healthy — and beautiful.
Kennedy said the first Untapped: Food Trucks and Craft Beer festival, held in March of this year, surprised organizers with its popularity — so much so, Sumter Green decided to have another on Saturday, Nov. 4, from noon to 6pm.
“People kept asking ‘when are you going to have anotherone?’” Kennedy said.
“We had 16 food trucks in March, and we had a lot more people than we expected. This time, we’ll have 25 trucks, so the lines will be shorter, and there will be more choices.”
The variety of foods offered is extensive, she said,with everything from gyros, dumplings, crepes, lobster rolls, Cuban sandwiches, Vietnamese and French foods, desserts, donut cone ice cream, Mexi-can and more.
“There’s even a truck called ‘Bacon Me Crazy’ that has bacon in everything, including dessert,” Kennedy said. She advises attendees to “bring cash, because not all of the food truck operators accept credit cards.” Beer is sold for cash only. There is an ATM on site, she said.
As the name of the event indicates, said Matthew Morse, webmaster for the City of Sumter, craft beer is an important element of the festival.
The beers will again be located in the Agricultural Building, renamed the Beer Barn for the festival. Budweiser, Bud Light and Michelob Ultra will be available for $4 each in 16-ounce aluminum bottles to those with tickets at any level, including the $5 general admission ($10 at the gate). Craft beers, some with intriguing names such as Holy City Pluff Mud Porter and Catawba White Zombie, will cost $5.
Those who wish to participate in the Craft Beer Tasting will pay $25 for advance tickets ($35 at the gate), which will admit them into the Beer Barn at noon, as well as into the food truck area. This ticket admits the holder to the tasting, scheduled for 3 to 6 p.m., and entitles ticket holders to unlimited 2-ounce servings of the craft beers.
VIP Access tickets, $20 in advance or $30 at the gate, will get you into the Beer Barn and the food truck area at 11 a.m., a full hour before others. These tickets are limited. Tickets to the Craft Beer Tasting must be purchased separately.
Morse said there will be several new releases of craft beer “not available in our area before … some available only one time a year and some available one time only.”
The craft beers, he said, are mostly from nearby areas — the Midlands, North Carolina and Georgia.
Among the selections are Palmetto Brewery’s Ghost Rider Pale Ale, which is brewed with ghost peppers, one of the 10 hottest peppers known; RJ Rockers’ Pool Boy IPA; Thomas Creek Driftwood Series’ Boysen the Hood Bourbon Barrel Sour and Passion of the Fruit Bourbon Barrel Sour; Southern Barrel’s Helles Lager and Wild Bramble Berlin-er-Style Weisse Ale; and Catawba’s King Don’s Pumpkin Ale.
“We tried to make it as local as possible,” Morse said. The only draft beer comes from Local Motion, a new brewery out of Florence that will be on site.
Both Kennedy and Morse asked guests to drink responsibly.
“We will have transportation available for those who do not feel comfortable driving after the event (at their own ex-pense),” Kennedy said. Kennedy said the entertainment will be outstanding, with Swift Creek band coming back and J.D. and the Breeze playing several sets during the noon-to-6 p.m. festival.
Entry to Untapped will be through West Liberty Street entrance to Sumter County Civic Center. Ample free parking is available. Guests will enter the festival itself through the gate nearest the Pota-to House. Identification will be checked here. You must be 21 to participate in the beer tastings.
Once admitted, guests will be able to leave and re-enter the festival at any time during the event.