Northwest Indiana Food Truck Fest
Well this will be quite the test for me! Back in June I was invited to join and photograph the festivities of the Northwest Indiana Food Truck Festival in Portage, Indiana. It was the first year for this event that brought together food trucks from across the region into one area for people to taste the wonderful variations of food available.
It also meant that I had to be standing in a crowd taking photos for hours to do my job as well. As I have said, quite a test for me due to my Asperger's Syndrome. It also happened to be the first event I went for the purpose of event photography. Quite a lot on my shoulders that made me a little nervous I admit. Okay I was very nervous. This isn't the first time I have been surrounded by a huge crowd though. Far from it. I was ready to engage a sharp mental focus on the task at hand: getting wonderful photos of people having a great time.
I certainly got that and more after I parked my car and proceeded to walk along the string of food trucks parks and ready to serve the masses that have gathered.
Quite a variety of food trucks serving all kinds of meals as I looked around. Hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled cheese, tacos, even ice cream to help cool everyone off from the heat. I really enjoyed my milkshake from Valpo Velvet Ice Cream that's for certain! Perfect for this heat. It wasn't the only sweet treat there. Designer Desserts had their truck there serving gourmet cupcakes that I have tried and enjoyed in the past. Always did have such a sweet tooth! I can't help it! It was so tempting to buy out all the cupcakes they had in their truck!
Multiple lines were beginning to form throughout the event to taste some delicious summer meals. I wasn't sure at first which to try out first! Guess you can say there was a little something for everyone. Even those who have health concerns with gluten-free food at CheSa's. Clouds came over every now and then to provide shelter from the sun as everyone casually strolled around to see the offerings and mingle around with other locals.
I wasn't sure what to try out at first. A little comfort food from the American Glory Food Truck? Something a little spicy from Cool Runnings Jamaican Restaurant? Or maybe a classic Chicago hot dog from Dogs N' Hogs? Maybe another drink to cool me off with Lulu's Licks. So many choices! Even a guy with a kilt on while serving customers at The Celtic Pig. Don't see that every day! I pondered on this as I kept taking photos of the ongoing event. Some stood around while consuming their meals, others decided to have a seat at several tables underneath a large tent nearby a stage. One of the many entertainment events was DJ Chef from the Food Network, showing his skills at providing music and live cooking demonstrations.
Food trucks were not the only activities there however. A towering inflatable slide was a dominant view from afar that had children climbing and sliding down in glee while parents watched from far below. It wasn't the only activity there for kids either. Bouncy Castles, Zip Lines, Rock Climbing and more were available for them and parents alike during the food truck event.
Further back of the area was another spot to cool down: a large fountain. Children of all ages were jumping in and out screaming and laughing while most of the adults sat in the shade and benches nearby. Both finding relief from the summer heat. A few parents did jump in every now and then on the fun with their kids and got just as soaked. I eventually stepped forward at the outer edge myself to get my head soaked and cool off. No doubt these will be one of many happy memories to keep during their time at the festival along with the good food. Speaking of...
Back at the festivities, the crowd had only grown. More people had arrived to get a taste of different treats from all over Northwest Indiana.
Besides food trucks and slides were also local firefighters selling beverages along with other tents displaying information on community savings, cellphone services, even the National Guard. Yes, there were a number of dogs there as well as you can tell from these sample photos running and having fun. Don't they make you want to simply pet them? A couple kids did just that.
There was certainly a strong sense of community at the event. Had several people step up to me and ask to have their photos taken! I have captures so many special moments on camera at this event of families, friends and even employees having fun. I really enjoyed it all, despite sensory overload that occurred from time to time. I have been training myself for moments such as these however and was able to find quieter spots to simply relax on a bench, sheltered by the trees.
It also gives me time to pause and recheck the photos I've taken and gives me a sense of pride on how far I have come, from someone that was very meek and shy due to being autistic into someone that can see himself handling being able to take on all kinds of photography no matter the problems I face every day. Shows that the only thing limiting me is my own mindset that I had before. If not for this change, I wouldn't have captures so many happy memories for everyone. That is sometime I will continue to strive for moving forward with showing my travels.
Well that was the end of one out of many adventures I'll have. I am certainly happy about attending and looking forward to attending again later this year!
If you would like to know more information about future Food Truck Fest events, please visit their website through the button below and purchase your tickets TODAY! The next one is coming in late September 2017. Maybe I'll see you there!
Until then, I'll be dreaming about that wonderful deep dish grilled cheese I had at Sizzlebox. My stomach is already growling thinking about how great it was!