Editor’s Note: News Editor Mike Henneke was a judge in the Great Umpqua Food Truck Competition.
The third-annual Great Umpqua Food Truck Competition hosted 25 food trucks from across the state for a family fun Fourth of July celebration at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.
Wok Star won first place with a $10,000 cash prize, Portland-based Big Fat Weiners won second place and a $5,000 cash prize. Local vegan food truck Wrappin’ and Rollin’ won both third place and best local truck — totaling $3,500 in cash prizes.
Wok Star owner Russell Evans served judges tataki ahi — seared ahi steak with house teriyaki and sriracha aioli and a side of Asian slaw.
“It feels great,” Evans said. “I really need this to build my next truck.”
Three teams of preliminary judges scored the trucks. The top six trucks from the preliminary round were brought to the final five judges for final scoring.
Wrappin’ and Rollin’ truck owner Darci Hawkins said, “As the only vegan food truck in Douglas County — this is amazing. It shows progress. We’re very excited and we’re very thankful for this event.”
The fairgrounds was lined with food trucks starting at 2 p.m. for VIP ticket holders and 3 p.m. for the general public. Bands played on the garden stage throughout the afternoon, entertaining guests as they sipped on drinks and ate food.
Event coordinator Brittany Arnold said the competition included a variety of food trucks for this Fourth of July.
“We’ve got a good variety this year, we’ve got lots of delicious BBQ — always great on an American holiday. We’ve got Indian food, Thai food, Mexican food,” Arnold said.
Ami and Ralph Garza have been coming to the food truck competition for the past three years.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Ami Garza said. “My favorite part is just seeing all our friends and family out here and celebrating the Fourth. I love the Fourth of July.”
Todd and Michele Quier attended the food truck competition for the first time and said they enjoyed the atmosphere and food.
Michele Quier said she loved walking around and trying all the different foods — especially Rolling Thunder BBQ.
“I would recommend the Rolling BBQ, absolutely,” she said. “They have my favorite cider so I can’t complain.”
This is the first year that the food truck competition featured a car show. Classic cars drove into the fairgrounds with the theme Veterans for Freedom.
“There’s so much going on we wanted to actually stand for something and mean something in our community. Fourth of July is a great day to celebrate our vets and what’s going on in society today,” Brett Parrett, car show coordinator, said.