View online edition


Success on The Ave

by Russell Swanson, Exec. Dir., VDID, Main Street Vineland

With the Food Truck Festival on The Ave in our rear-view, we in Main Street Vineland start the transition from summer events to a full lineup of fall and winter events. First, I want to thank all those who made this year’s Food Truck Festival the largest yet.

We easily matched—or even beat—attendance figures for past festivals. We set the bar high with almost 10,000 people attending each of our first two festivals and looks like we matched or beat that mark. The preparation is long, the details are many, and the execution is tiring. In the end, though, it all comes through because of a team effort. So, let’s do some shout-outs to that team.

• To the staff at Main Street Vineland: Associate Director Robert Scarpa and Maintenance Men Wayne and Mike Joslin.

• To our Board of Directors whose continued support allows us to maintain this event as a vital part of our calendar of events. We appreciate your confidence in us.

• To Josie Spinelli, City Councilman Paul Spinelli’s wife, who, almost four years ago first suggested a food truck festival downtown. Well, Josie, it’s three Food Truck Festivals later and we still owe you thanks.

• To the various City of Vineland departments who always said yes when we had a need—including the Mayor’s office; Economic Development, Police, Fire, and Health departments; Electric Utility, Emergency Medical Services, Public Works, Recreation, and Code Enforcement. We can’t thank them enough.

• To our sponsors, Members 1st of NJ Federal Credit Union, Newfield National Bank, and Lidl. They put their money where their hearts are.

• To Stallion Marketing LLC, who again made all the arrangements for the food trucks and took care of the logistics with truck locations. As in the past, they brought their vast experience with successful food truck events throughout the region.

• To all the non-food vendors, promoting a lot of good causes and adding to the array of things to see and do at the festival.

• To SNJ Today and Xspero for working hand-in-hand to add to the success of our event. SNJ Today published a beautiful tabloid supplement that we put in the hands of the attendees. Also, many people were able to download the Xspero app to their smartphones and make purchases that help them and help us raise needed funds.

• To the talented performers who provided eight hours of song and dance at our entertainment stage—including headliner Dawson Coyle of TV show The Voice.

• To those who provided entertainment and games at Kid’s Corner and elsewhere at the festival, including A & M Bounce-A-Lot Bounce Houses, Little Lamb Preschool for games, the Vineland Fire Department for a firefighter obstacle course, Simply Silly Magic for their magic show, and the Bishop Schad Regional School for a dunk tank.

• A thank you, in spirit, to the late Ken Wright who, as Ken I. Clown, graced our previous two Food Truck Festivals. An additional thank you goes to his widow, Dawn, who was on hand as we memorialized Ken by renaming the Kid’s Corner, the “Ken I. Clown Memorial Kid’s Corner.”

• To our four Main Street Vineland Team Chairpersons: Matt Johnson (Organization Team), Sarah Bradway Johnson (Economic Vitality Team), Susan Sauro (Promotions Team), and Vanessa Sosa (Design Team). They and their respective teams represented the perfect model of how a Main Street organization is supposed to operate.

• To volunteers who helped out wherever needed before and during the event, we could not have pulled this off without them.

• Lastly, to those who attended this event and are reading this now, I extend the biggest thanks yet. You took the time to come downtown and experience why we’re so excited about the today and tomorrow of our beloved downtown—The Ave. We can only organize events like this. Without your presence, your support, and your enthusiasm, this was an event to remember.

On The Ave