Thousands of people from across the area came to Downtown Ferndale Wednesday night for Metro Detroit Street Eats, a mobile food vendor event at the Rust Belt Market.
The event, which was sponsored by the Michigan Mobile Food Vendors Association, featured seven food trucks stationed in the alley behind the Rust Belt market with dining tables available inside along with live entertainment and the market's wide selection of unique items for sale by local vendors.
By 7 p.m., about 2,000 to 2,500 people had been through the event, said organizer Scott Maloney, owner of Treat Dreams.
At just 4:45 p.m., before many people even got out of work, the alley was bustling with at least 200 people trying foods, chatting and many wandering inside to shop at the Rust Belt.
"So far I'm just thrilled with how it's going and with the city and how awesome they've been to work with," he said earlier.
Guests were enjoying sunny, 82-degree weather.
"I would have been happy with 50 degrees and not raining," Maloney laughed. "Mother Nature's looking out for us."
The event is similar to the food truck rally at the Farmers Market in Royal Oak earlier this month and in February, which at only halfway through the event saw 1,200 customers served by the six food trucks and a cart from Treat Dreams.
Heather Peters with Chow Catering was in agreement about the warm weather: "How could you ask for better weather, right?"
Peters said Chow was also part of the Royal Oak food truck events.
"We love it," she said. "It's a great event."
The Marks family, who drove from Canton to attend, said they haven't been to Ferndale in years.
"I think it draws people in who haven't been here," Shannon Marks said. "We think it's great. We want to do it on our side of town."
Maloney has said he is hoping for Street Eats to become a recurring event, eventually shifting to the third Thursday of each month.
On Feb. 27, Ferndale City Council approved a special event permit for Street Eats and also permitted the closure of the alley behind Rust Belt, where food trucks were parked.
Bambi Platz, of Madison Heights, attended the Royal Oak events and said she was excited about the food truck rally being in Ferndale. "I like this better," she said of the Rust Belt venue. "It's great."
Her mother-in-law, Berkley resident Judy Platz, said it was her first time at a food truck rally. "I think it's pretty cool. It's a great sampling," she said.
Michael Lary, events director for the city of Ferndale, said he was enjoying the event. "I think it's awesome," he said.
As for whether it should be a regular occurrence, Lary said they'll see how the rest of the event goes, but he was optimistic about it continuing. "If it brings people to Downtown Ferndale and it increases our visibility then it's a positive thing," he said.
Ferndale resident Chris Dunstan, 25, said she has frequented some of the food trucks in the area but having them all in one place was great. "I love that there's a variety, too," she said. "I hope they do [continue it]. I'll definitely come out."
Here are some of the vendors that participated:
- Jacque's Tacos
- Ned's Travelburger
- Frank's Anatra
- El Guapo Grill
- Chow Catering
- People's Pierogi Collective
- Treat Dreams