Fifteen food truck vendors filled the parking lot around Delta Technical College in Horn Lake on Saturday to satisfy growling stomachs searching for a mobile meal.
The Horn Lake Chamber of Commerce held is third annual "back from COVID" Food Truck festival benefitting the chamber and one other local non-profit.
Food Truck fanatics beat the pavement to wait in line for street tacos, barbecue, soft serve ice cream, snow-cones, loaded nachos and fries, and anything else that could be deep-fried and served on a wooden skewer.
Henry Buraza, from Horn Lake, was with his wife, son and other family at the event face planting into a round of grilled cheeses from one food truck.
"It's so simple, a grilled cheese, it's easy, and it's always been my favorite," said Buraza. "I saw the Two Bucks Grilled Cheese Truck listed on the chamber Facebook ad. As soon as I saw their name I thought, 'That's it, I'm going.'"
Buraza added how he is used to savoring the fare of food trucks as he works in Memphis at Landmark Heating and Air.
"I see food trucks all down the side of the road, so I'm used to stopping at them," Buraza said. "When I heard they were going to have the festival, I was all for it."
Attendees each had the opportunity to vote for their favorite mobile meals by dropping a wooden coin into a tin bucket. Each food truck had a tin bucket hung by the ordering window.
Horn Lake Chamber of Commerce Director Laura Taylor was wrangling judges Saturday to rate each food truck's selection.
Judges serving for the event were Johnny Armand, with Armand Advertising, Donna Presley, first cousin to Elvis, and John Woods, with First Choice Catering.
Taylor said the return of the event was very welcome by vendors and guests alike.
"After the cancellation of last year's event, the COVID comeback Food Truck Festival is being very well received," Taylor explained. "Traffic is a lot more than we expected this early in the day and we're excited to see what the rest of the day brings."
Taylor said general feedback was very excited.
"Several of the trucks were trying to come back last year when we cancelled the event," Taylor said. "So, they were tickled when they were able to come back."
This year's celebration of food truck fare was held at Delta Technical College in Horn Lake instead of the previous years being hosted at Latimer Lakes Park.
"This move has provided us with some extra visibility and the campus president, Mr. Thomas Pullen, serves on our board of directors and has been amazing at letting us use this location," Taylor explained. " I've had several people already tell me they were just thrilled with the way everything was all lined up. I have not been able to try any food yet. I want a funnel cake."
Every year the festival raises money for a local non-profit in addition to being a fundraiser itself for the chamber.
"The Food Truck Festival benefits the Horn Lake Excel by 5," said Taylor. "That's the early reading readiness program for children."
Taylor said she would estimate an average of $5,000 is raised every year with Saturday's event being the third one held.
"I believe this year it's going to be bigger," Taylor added.
Taylor mentioned her future vision for the festival attracting thousands of people with food truck vendors wrapping around the entire Delta Technical College campus.
Vendors like Dorisn Marin with Southern Taco Bar were slammed with orders for their signature birria or pulled pork dishes.
"We are from Southaven and it's been crazy since we got here," Marin said. "We've had our truck for two years. The people have accepted us very well."
Marin and her team are from Guanajuato, Mexico. Their offerings include authentic handmade tortillas.
"This is our first food truck festival," said Marin. "If they invite us back we're going to be here."