UPB Food Truck Festival was a wonderland of free goodies and warm weather


Courtesy of UPB

An instant success, University Program Board’s Food Truck Festival encouraged CWRU students to get out, experience the warm weather and enjoy some delicious food truck foods.

Joey Gonzalez, Life Editor

Cleveland finally got its first taste of summer last weekend, and the University Programming Board (UPB) certainly took advantage. Their first food truck-based event since 2018, the Food Truck Festival located at East Bell Commons was an opportunity for Case Western Reserve University students to spend some time outdoors and fill their stomachs with free food. With caricatures, food, drinks, dessert and more, UPB’s Food Truck Festival was a massive success, providing so much more than just free lunch.

To ensure every student got their fill, the festival was broken up into several time slots.  

After registering, students received tickets for each category—food, drink and dessert—which could be used at any of the food trucks. And UPB certainly didn’t skip out on the options, featuring all kinds of cuisines in their lineup. There was a chicken truck that served classic bar food like chicken sandwiches, chicken and waffles, fried pickles and fries. Another truck focused entirely on smoothies—a much needed cooldown after being in the sun all day. Other trucks included those serving pizza, falafel and pitas. UPB also provided a few dessert options such as cupcakes and ice cream, which were unfortunately sold out by the time I got there. However, at the end of the event, one extra ticket was allotted to students that wanted to try something new at the festival, which we happily accepted. 

With my three tickets—technically four with the extra—I was able to feast without spending a dime. For my first meal, I chose to go with the falafel wrap, as the truck had both a short line and incredible looking food; it truly was the perfect veggie-filled snack that could cure even the strongest of hangovers. I then moved over to the smoothie truck, which appeared to be a massive hit among CWRU students. I heard nothing but raving reviews about the smoothies and the chicken truck, so I’m sure they will be featured again. The ice cream stand had left by the time I got there, so my dessert was a caramel cupcake. They were a little heavy after eating so much food on such a warm day, but I honestly cannot complain. I went to the festival with my roommate, so I was able to try a little more food than most, and I must say UPB picked some great options. Food wasn’t the only draw of the festival, there were also free caricatures and henna provided. While the lines for these attractions were a bit long, the caricatures had students cracking up and were definitely an unexpected but welcomed addition to the Food Truck Festival.

Interestingly, the event got more than just CWRU participation. I had the opportunity of chatting with a group of students from the University of Akron, who asked if the Food Truck Festival was our Springfest. We got to chatting while waiting for the chicken truck and they asked if  “[CWRU] does this sort of thing a lot,” to which I responded “Sorta.” We haven’t seen an event like this in a while and honestly, I didn’t know what I was missing. But now that I do, I hope UPB continues to produce these incredible events, especially as the Cleveland winter weather finally flees.