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May 5—American Fire Company No. 1 of Lansford was ahead of the curve when it came to hosting biannual food truck events in 2019.
The fire company hoped to hit on a fundraiser that didn't consume and exhaust the available manpower that a monthly breakfast, or similar event, did, said Fire Chief Joseph Greco.
So, they tried a food truck event — a year before the food truck craze took over in a post-pandemic world. COVID-19 sidelined the event last year, but they're moving ahead with plans on Saturday, he said.
"We're definitely glad we can bring it back," Greco said.
The second Annual Spring Food and Vendor Event runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the grounds on East Bertsch Street behind the fire company.
At least 10 food vendors signed on with everything from traditional favorites such as potato pancakes and funnel cakes to cheese steaks and barbecue, and more, according to the fire company's social media.
People can also check out crafts, games or rides, Greco said, or listen to live music from 4 to 7 p.m. with Abandoned Mind performing.
The fire company held off on its decision this year to host the event, in which it sells refreshments and raffles, until March, which is late in the festival season planning, he said.
Some vendors aren't going to return because their business didn't survive the pandemic and they were forced to sell, he said.
But many will return to the all outdoor event, he said. They will have indoor and covered seating, but with plenty of ventilation and open garage doors, Greco said.
Pandemic precautions will be in place and fire company members working the event will be wearing face masks, he said. Fire company members have also been vaccinated, Greco said.
"My department got the vaccine when it was offered to us," he said.
Government mask guidance has changed with some outdoor events, but people should wear masks if they feel more comfortable, he said.
Amusement operators assured the fire company that rides will be sanitized according to CDC guidelines, Greco said.
"We're adapting," he said.
Greco expects the food trucks and stands to be the big draw, though, he said. They're hoping for nice weather for the one-day event that replaced monthly breakfasts for them.
With this event, people get to come out and enjoy different foods and the fire company members don't have to shop, prep or cook to raise funds, which can be difficult with limited manpower these days, Greco said.
Plus, food trucks, which were already on the rise locally, really took off with people seeking things to do in a safe, outdoor environment with the pandemic restrictions in place.
"I'm glad we started it when we did," Greco said. "Food trucks, they are the big thing now."
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