Black Food Truck Festival kicks off this weekend

Published: Nov. 19, 2022 at 7:54 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 19, 2022 at 11:41 PM EST

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A Lowcountry food truck festival is bringing small Black business owners together.

The Black Food Truck Festival kicked off Saturday at the Exchange Park Fairgrounds in Ladson.

The 3rd installment of the festival saw over 40 food trucks, with organizers hoping to see even more trucks on Sunday.

Organizers hope to make an economic and social impact on the community by showcasing and investing in Black-owned businesses in the area. Founder of the event, Marcus Hammond, says Charleston is a large tourism spot, and he wants to encourage more Black people and Black business owners to come to the Lowcountry.

“But now that people see this, the demand is a lot easier because there is a demand to support more Black-owned businesses,” Hammond says. “And we have a lot of thriving Black-owned businesses, not just in a Lowcountry but in South Carolina. So we’re really making strides, tremendous rise within just one year.”

Hammond says he wants to eventually grow the festival, which started in 2021, to reach more people.

“We want to grow it but we still want to make them more intimate...” he says. “We want to bring in national artists, really national food trucks, but we still want to keep that local field and keep that blend of supporting the local food vendors and still bringing in national artists and vendors.”

It was Keoni’s Food Truck Owner Marcus Middleton’s second time at the festival. He says the event provides a safe haven.

“I think that events like this will be able to grow amongst a culture I believe it’ll help our culture be able to, you know, have a safe haven to be able to show our talents and you know, to put on other friends and family come out,” Middleton says.

Food trucks will be back out on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Exchange Park Fairgrounds.