The Kearny PBA Local 21’s first food truck festival wasn’t even over yet when people started to plant the idea for another one in Det. John Fabula’s ears.
Fabula, who organized the first one, said several people thought October would be ideal for a reprisal — it could have an Octoberfest theme along with a traditional beer garden — or Biergarten as it’s commonly known.
And here we are, just a few weeks away from the newest PBA incarnation — Kearny Trucktoberfest — which takes place Saturday, Oct. 22, from 1 to 8 p.m., this time outside the VFW, 300 Belgrove Drive.
This go-round, there will be at least 22 gourmet food trucks (we’ll list the ones expected near the end of the story). The beer garden will be operated by the VFW. There will be ample activities for kids. And the Polka Brothers, a polka band that is generally considered the best and most well-known of its kind in America, will perform.
“The first time around, I never thought we’d sell out,” Fabula, also the president of PBA Local 21, said. “But right after it was over, people were already eager for another. So we said, ‘Let’s do it.’”
The first incarnation of a food truck festival was designed to help the PBA raise money for the annual Tour de Force bike ride which, this year, started in the Washington, D.C., area — and ended at the World Trade Center just a few weeks ago. However, there’s no specific charity for the Trucktoberfest — so all proceeds will go toward the many programs the local sponsors.
Fabula says that because there will be more trucks this time — and much more room on Belgrove Drive — wait time at lines will be much shorter.
For the kids, there will be a 30-foot bounce house, a rock-climbing wall and an art truck from the Montclair Museum will be on hand.
But perhaps the biggest addition for kids will be the presence of local business Plastercraft.
Plastercraft will have hands-on activities where kids will be able to paint cars during a short painting class. The company is offering this for free.
In addition to the Polka Brothers, there will also be a local DJ on hand and an oompah band to play as people wait on line for food.
Meanwhile, Fabula says he expects a huge crowd for the Oct. 22 event. At the first one, the official attendance was 7,000 — though there were likely more than 10,000 there. He says he hopes for 10,000 or more this time.
He also wants to remind the public that, of course, the beer garden is open only to those 21 and older. There will also be a taxi stand in place throughout the event for anyone who may have had too much to drink — or for anyone who simply doesn’t want to drive to the event. (There’s also Uber and Lyft, too).
So just how does Fabula, who has a heavy caseload in the Kearny Police Department’s Detective Bureau, find the time to pull something like this off — for a second time? It’s not easy, he says, but it’s worth it in the end.
“The first time, my case load wasn’t as large as it is now — but we raised $20,000 the first time for the Tour de Force and other charities,” Fabula said. “This time, we hope to be able to raise even more for the charities under our care. There’s something very special about being able to bring people together like this.”
Admission for Trucktoberfest is only $5 per person. To purchase tickets or for more information, log onto www.kearnypba.com/foodtrucks.
Trucks committed to attending on Oct. 22 include Cupcake Carnivale, Waffle de Lys, Amanda’s Bannanas, Glazed and Confused NYC, Oink and Moo BBQ, Callahan’s Hot Dogs, Pizza Vita, The Outslider, The Taco Truck, The French Quarter, My Four Suns, The Angry Crab, Red White and Que Smokehouse, Cheezen, Empanada Guy, Vinny’s Steak and Subs, German Bratwurst, Pierogi Flats by Pompier Food Truck, Romano’s Disco Fries, Eat My Balls, 1 Potato Two, Johnny’s Pork Roll Truck, Tony’s Traveling Trattoria, Stella’s Empanadas and Soda City FD.
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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.