Pensacola, Florida
Sunday April 22nd 2018


Food Trucks and Fine Art

By Shelby Smithey

Pensacola Hot Wheels
The second annual Pensacola Hot Wheels Food Truck Festival is Saturday, and Pensacola Habitat for Humanity is looking forward to growing the event with more food and more fun this year.

Pensacola Habitat Communications Associate Nick Noyes said that this year’s festival is twice as big and long as last year’s.

“The event footprint is bigger and extends to the Merrill Lynch office this year,” Noyes said. “We have two bands, a longer event time, double last year’s food trucks, and we’re an expanded tasting competition,” Noyes said. “We are selling festival merchandise this year as well.”

For the tasting competition, the food trucks will be able to show off their best dishes, both savory and sweet.

“The trucks have been invited to participate in the prestigious ‘Victory Circle Tasting Competition’ by submitting a signature dish into sweet and/or savory categories,” Noyes said. “A team of local judges, including Mayor Ashton Hayward, Police Chief David Alexander, local media personalities, Kazoo, and others, will sample the entries to determine the best overall in each category. Judging will be based on the visual appeal of the dish, originality, aroma, taste and the overall appearance of the truck.”

The festival will have an even larger variety of food to choose from this year with a total of 19 food trucks participating. Entertainment will include live music by The Wide Open and the opening act performed by Xaris Waltman and Zena Carpenter. Cat Country will report live from the event all day. Gulf Coast Brewery will also be on hand at the event.

“The festival saw an increase in nine new trucks,” Noyes said. “We have local favorite Barbasian which serves barbeque/Asian fusion; we have Ben’s Burga Kaboose, a playful trailer with monstrous burgers; we have the delicious drinks from I Luv Lemonade; we have flavored ice from Snowbiz Shaved Ice; Twisted and Corny utilizes corn as the major ingredient in their food; we have Rolling Embers Wood-Fired Pizza which makes fresh pizza; we have Windcreek’s food truck Good-to-Go; Lone Star Kitchens Tex-Mex Grill makes delightful Tex-Mex fare; and we have upscale street food from Two Birds.”

The proceeds from the event go towards Habitat’s mission on building homes throughout the community for homebuyers through a zero percent interest loan. Pensacola Habitat has built over 1,300 homes throughout Escambia and Santa Rose counties and has expanded its work to include helping neighborhoods to organize and improve existing homes and communities through neighborhood revitalization efforts.

“Last year we were expecting a couple hundred people and ended up with close to three thousand people coming through before we ended at 3 p.m.,” Noyes said. “We were ecstatic to have such a positive response from the local area. Honestly, we were not expecting the crowds, and they nearly overwhelmed us. That’s why we have doubled the size of the festival. We hope with twice the trucks, more space and more time, people will be able to visit as many trucks as they want to and still have plenty of time to sit back and enjoy the music, beautiful weather and view.”

WHAT: Pensacola Habitat for Humanity’s second annual food truck festival
WHEN: 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, April 22
WHERE: Plaza de Luna
COST: Admission is free

Food Truck Lineup
3-D Burgers and Tea
Arepas by Samantha’s Gift
BellyBusters Food Wago
Ben’s Burga Kaboos
Busy Bee Al Fresco
Good to Go
Hip Pocket Deli
I LUV Lemonade
Joe’s Caribe
Jordan Valley
Lone Star Kitchens Tex-Mex Grill
Nomadic Eats
Rolling Embers Wood-Fired Pizza
Snowbiz Shaved Ice
The Beachy Barista
Trolley Stop Ice Cream Shoppe
Twisted and Corny
Two Birds Street Food


Repurposed Art Show
A few weeks after Hot Wheels, Pensacola Habitat for Humanity will be debuting an entirely new and unique event that plays on the idea of repurposing, a concept that’s exemplified in the Habitat ReStore.

“Artistically Repurposed,” a multimedia art show and auction, is a partnership with the Pensacola State College Art Department where students create pieces of art using materials found at the Habitat ReStore.

“This is the inaugural event and one we hope becomes an annual occurrence,” Noyes said. “Many of our loyal ReStore shoppers are creative do-it-yourselfers and love finding interesting objects and repurposing them as art or functional items. Also, the nature of the donated merchandise lends itself the reuse, recycle and repurpose boom.”

Noyes said that the idea was born when a Pensacola Habitat employee saw a repurposed art display in an airport lobby.

“Since then, we have learned of other Habitat ReStore locations that have held this type of repurposed art event,” Noyes said.

The art pieces typically consist of between 50 to 90 percent ReStore merchandise. Noyes said that the artists also used other fine art supplies to embellish the pieces. Each artist received up to 100 dollars to use on ReStore materials and supplies.

“Many of the students selected furniture, mahogany doors, light fixtures, mosaic tile, fabric, scrap metal pieces, vintage album covers and other unique items that captured their imaginations,” he said.

More than 40 students from the PSC Art Department have signed up to participate in the show. PSC faculty will determine how many and which pieces qualify.

“So far we’ve seen furniture, light fixtures, tables, wall art and forged metal tools,” Noyes said. “The PSC students are remarkably talented and innovative. We are excited to see what else they have created for this event.”

WHAT: A multimedia art show and auction at Pensacola State College
WHEN: Exhibition will be on display May 15–25; the auction will be 5-8 p.m. Thursday, May 25
WHERE: PSC Art Center, 1000 College Blvd.
COST: Free