The first-ever Gretna Food Truck Festival, proceeds of which were donated to the Gretna Economic Development Association, the Jefferson Parish Recretaion Booster Club, and the Boys & Girls Club West Bank Unit, went off with one hitch – blazing New Orleans heat. With heat indexes over 100 degrees, some fest goers recommended that the 2nd planned festival be scheduled for the fall after the Gretna Heritage Festival. In addition to the “free exposure” for food truck owners to advertise their tasty wares, the festival was used almost like a benefit concert (except with a DJ) for local Westbank organizations with entertainment by local legend DJ “Ed B,”.
First of all, the proceeds from the wine and beer sales were totaled and given to the Gretna Economic Development Association, while the proceeds from non-alcoholic beverages were dontaed to the Jefferson Parish Recreation Booster Club. T-shirts for the festival with a logo designed by Manuel Ponce were sold for $15 – $17 / each and the money benefited the Boys & Girls Club West Bank Unit. The music was performed at this year’s Gretna Food Truck Festival by DJ “Ed B,” Ed Batiste.
Several food trucks supplied the food of varied tastes and quantities including Diva Dawg, La Cocinita, Crepes a la cart, Ironsides Waffles, Food Drunk, and Frencheeze.
“We knew the event was going to be big based upon buzz on social media, but the crowd exceeded our expectations. At one time, we estimated they were 1,400 people there early in the event. The crowd never got smaller until the end despite the heat index over 100 degrees. The overwhelming response was “when are you going to do this again?” said Gretna Councilman Joe Marino III, who served as event coordinator.
Despite the heat, the festival was a huge success, its location at the Farmers Marketplace in the heart of Old Gretna turned out to be the best place on the West Bank to have it again, according to Gretna Councilman Marino.