Approximately 5,000 students and community members flocked to Prospect Avenue this past Saturday to attend TruckFest, an annual event hosted by University eating clubs and organized by the Community Service Inter-Club Council in conjunction with the Pace Center for Civic Engagement.
CSICC co-chairs Cason Crane ’17 andRachel Margulies ’16 noted that earnings from this year’s event came out to $9,000 more than the earnings from last year. Judging by ticket sales, Margulies estimated that this year’s profit was around $33,000. Final calculations as to this year's exact profit have not been completed as of press time.
The proceeds from the event will go to Meals on Wheels of Mercer County and Send Hunger Packing Princeton, a collaboration between the Princeton Human Services Commission, the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank and Princeton Public Schools. This initiative works to provide meals for schoolchildren in the Princeton community over the weekends when students cannot receive food at school.
The total income from ticket sales was $56,000, according to Crane. The revenue partly goes towards paying the food trucks and covering other costs for the Pace Center and the Princeton Prospect Foundation, Margulies explained. The approximate cost of the event is upward of $20,000, Crane said.
This was the first year that the event also had University sponsorship, Crane noted. The University provided funding, allowing for 50 percent more trucks than had previously been invited before.
The Undergraduate Student Government class governments for 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, as well as the eating clubs and the Graduate Student Government, handed out pre-sold tickets to students leading up to the event. The Class of 2017 had some extra tickets left, according to Crane, but all other classes ran out of these pre-sold tickets prior to the event.
Tickets were sold at $2 each on the day and were pre-sold for $1.60 leading up to TruckFest.
Each of the trucks takes a cut of their earnings from the event in order to contribute proceeds to charity, Jennifer Peng ’17, head of press for the CSICC, explained.
The CSICC awards its People’s Choice Award to the most popular truck at the event by tallying the tickets sold per vendor. This winner will be announced in the coming week, according to Peng.
Peng added that the two most popular trucks were probably Nina’s Waffles and Ice Cream truck, as well as the My Four Suns Korean fusion truck.
Peng added that the general consensus was that this was the most successful year for the event and that it went really smoothly with no outrageously long lines.
However, not everyone was pleased with line lengths at the event.
“[My friends and I] divided and conquered, so we all went in different lines, so it worked out really well for us because we all got our food at relatively the same time. But for people who just did one line at a time, I heard a lot of complaints,” Julia Jansen '19 said.
Swanee Golden ’19, who also attended the event,said that one possible improvement to the event could be the addition of tables for waiting consumers, given that the bouncers of the various eating clubs did not allow non-members to sit on the front lawns of the clubs.
In addition to food trucks, the festival featured free performances from student groups Jon Savage, Sensemaya, Princeton University Wildcats and Charlie Baker. A silent auction with items donated by sponsors such as Lululemon Athletica, LUSH Cosmetics and Pure Barre Princeton also helped to raise money.
“I think TruckFest is a really important event and it’s too bad that there aren’t more service-oriented events organized by the eating clubs,” Crane said.
Crane added that he and Margulies, as co-heads of CSICC, have been trying to promote more service events such as Trick-or-Feed during Princetoween.
Crane said that he hopes that more people will begin to realize that TruckFest is an event sponsored by the eating clubs — rather than by another organization on campus, such as USG — in the hope that this will improve the reputation of these clubs on campus.By the number of attendees, this is the largest undergraduate-organized event held at the University, according to Crane.