A new food truck festival is coming to the Valley. Called Valley Plaza Food Truck Festival, the event begins on Sunday, February 21 at Tempe's Valley Plaza shopping center, 3115 South McClintock Drive.
The first iteration of the festival will see appearances by Aioli Burger, Bites Donuts, Cousins Maine Lobster, Modern Tortilla, and Kick's Frozen Yogurt, which also has a brick-and-mortar location in Valley Plaza.
The trucks will set up in a large parking lot on the northeast corner of McClintock Drive and Southern Avenue from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday. There is no admission fee, and diners can park in the same lot as the event.
The festival will be hosted by UMC Real Estate Services, which has managed Valley Plaza since July 2015.
"I think that [Valley Plaza] is kind of flying under the radar right now for how good it is for local foodies," says Macey Streeper, event planning coordinator for the festival. "Food trucks are amazing and delicious, and they have a following. We wanted to bring some of those people into the center and share some great food with neighbors who might not have food trucks coming into that area a lot."
The festival will occur on the third Sunday of every month, Streeper says. And, if it maintains popularity, it will continue through the summer months.
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Choosing which trucks would be involved was something of a holistic process.
"We looked at both personal experience and some research about food trucks we knew were delicious and some of the best," Streeper says. "We knew we wanted to keep it kind of small . . . not take over the center or anything. We just picked a handful of options, and tried to get a good variety, too."
Sunday's festival will also have an ASU Greek life contest in an effort to engage with Tempe's student community. Whichever chapter has the most students in attendance at the event will receive free pizza at its next meeting, catered by Nello's Pizza, which is located in the Valley Plaza center.
For more information, check the Valley Plaza Food Truck Festival Facebook.