SOMERSET, Ky. — Whether you’re craving a Greek gyro, Brazilian fare, or a good old-fashioned pretzel, the City of Somerset’s signature food truck festival, Foodstock, will be a smorgasbord when it returns Saturday, June 5.
Food is the main event at the city’s first festival of 2021, featuring 17 food trucks from Somerset and across the state, as well as nine spirit and drink vendors. As with the first festival, the tastes of the Bluegrass will be complemented with the sounds of local music and the color of local art.
“We have several new vendors at our second Foodstock event and I’m really excited about the flavor they, along with our musicians and artists, will bring to downtown,” said Joy Carroll, festival director and Lake Cumberland Farmers Market manager.
Admission is free and gates will open at noon, with the heart of the festival located at the Pulaski County Judicial Center Plaza. The plaza stage will feature a day full of local and regional music talent, including the Rumpke Mountain Boys, Cody Lee Meece, Tommy Minton & Friends and the Lake Cumberland Blues Society. Beer, wine and spirit vendors will line Maple Street and East Mt. Vernon, and food trucks and street vendors will fill the half-circle of Fountain Square.
Upon entering at one of the festival’s four gates, patrons who want to buy alcoholic beverages will notice a difference this year, Carroll said – while they must still purchase a $5 spirit band, the booth to do so will be located near the beer, wine and spirit vendors.
“We hope this new process will shorten wait times at the gate and allow people to start getting their food and drink a little more quickly,” Carroll said.
The city will continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for outdoor events at the festival, Carroll said.
As festival-goers walk Somerset’s downtown streets with food and drink, they will also have the opportunity to watch local, regional and state artists create in real time during the Foodstock Art Contest. For these artists, the contest is an opportunity to contribute to Somerset’s expanding arts initiatives and vie for three $1,000 prizes.
The contest will feature an open format and follow the theme of “community.” Three $1,000 prizes will be awarded to the three artists who best incorporate this theme into their work. A panel of three independent judges will chose the 2021 winners. Artists who wish to participate can apply at seesomerset.com/event/foodstock.
Continuing what organizers hope will become a tradition with local festivals, the winning artwork will be displayed at a new event this year — #seemyset Art in the Park at Rocky Hollow Park on Aug. 14 — and auctioned publicly to benefit the city’s new art fund. Money raised will go toward future art projects within the city.
Mayor Alan Keck said he looks forward to seeing downtown streets once again filled with people coming together to fellowship and connect with one another.
“Celebrating who we are and sharing that story across the state and nation is how we build a Somerset for everyone,” Keck said. “Our festivals are a crucial component of that, and I am more than ready to start building this tradition once again. Let’s toast our beautiful community with food, music and art.”