Story And Photos By Jaci Webb of the Laurel Outlook
Published first in the Laurel Outlook, Thursday, June 9, 2022
Food, fun and family all came together at the first Laurel FoodFest held Saturday at Woods Powr-Grip.
The day-long event was a fundraiser for Laurel Activities Recreation Complex, and the strong turnout was encouraging for organizers. The kids entertainment area, run by Justin Fuller, his daughter Madeline and friend Miley Essex, was busy all day. Justin said he supports LARC, an organization his grandmother Opal Gomer has been part of since its inception.
“I do this because of my grandmother. This is so important to her,” Justin said. Organizer Elizabeth Terrel said 2,200 people came to the festival, and participants enjoyed the event so much they asked the group to bring it back in the fall.
“We are going to bring it to the table at our next meeting. We’ll do this again in the spring, for sure. We had great food trucks and vendors,” Terrel said.
Terrel said they raised between $10,000 and $12,000. Food and craft vendors were set up throughout the Woods Powr-Grip lot and property. Crystal and Boyd Charter enjoyed the fact that they could eat from so many different places and watch their son play on the giant inflatable slide.
“I really like the drunken noodles,” Boyd said.
Organizer Mary Riesinger said she wanted to thank the Laurel community for their support of the Food Fest and the contin ued support for LARC over the years. The Food Fest was the first big fundraiser for the nonprofit, and it surpassed their expectations. LARC was founded in 2015 with the goal of building a community center. Hopes are that they can break ground within the next 18 months.
Food trucks primarily came from the Yellowstone Valley, bringing a wide-range of cuisine from Thai, Japanese, and Mexican to all-American foods, including grilled cheese and burgers.
The winners included the top prize, the Foodie Award for $1,000, which went to Tup Tim Thai Food Truck, the second place People’s Choice Award for $500 went to the Corn Dog Company, and the third place Bronze Whisk Award for $250 went to the Mac Shack.