Family fun at Foodaroo

MIDDLEBURY — Gray skies and mild temperatures didn’t prevent hundreds from turning out to the fourth annual Foodaroo Festival, held Sunday at the Marble Works in downtown Middlebury.
The food truck festival has been organized since its 2015 inception by Middlebury UndergrounD, an arts and events non-profit founded by Lisa and Andy Mitchell. For its first two years, the event was held on Merchants Row, but graduated last year to the picturesque park overlooking Otter Creek Falls.
THE KIF-KIF Sisters were one of several acts at Foodaroo in Middlebury Sunday afternoon.
Independent photos/Trent Campbell
“This space is really built for food trucks,” Lisa Mitchell said. “It’s so flat and open, and with the falls, having that picnicking opportunity — it felt like the next important step.”
Attendees milled around the several dozen food vendors lined up along the site’s parking lot. A stage featured performances from The Grift, a local rock band that played to a crowd of mostly-stationary onlookers plus a small contingent of dancing moms and children. Also performing were the Kif-Kif sisters, an identical-twin vaudeville duo from Quebec, whose comedy routine captivated kids and was received with bemusement by parents.
As for the food, the selection was diverse, with heavy representation of burgers and tacos. This reporter enjoyed a pretty good burger from Burlington-based ArtsRiot, although his friend’s Korean pork gyro from the same truck packed considerably more flavor.
Adam Fisher, a Middlebury College student in attendance, said he was impressed by the setup, although the costs of some dishes posed an accessibility problem.
“I think it’s cool,” he said, “but as a starving college student it’s sometimes out of my price range, considering the $3 cover.”
Yet if some vendors charged not-too-cheap prices, others seemed exceedingly generous with their portions. Bo Muller-Moore (of “Eat More Kale” fame) sold miniature apple cider doughnuts at his “Doughnut Dude” stand. While his sign advertised nine doughnuts for $4, Muller-Moore tossed at least a dozen into the bag.
“I can’t have you guys starvin’ out here!” he told his happy customers.
KIDS REACT TO the Kif-Kif Sisters’ act at Foodaroo in Middlebury Sunday afternoon.
Independent photos/Trent Campbell
The weather may have felt like late spring, but the atmosphere was pure summertime. Every local festivalgoer was bound to see several familiar faces, and a good number of adorable dogs and babies. Lisa and Andy Mitchell strolled around the grounds and were stopped frequently by well-wishers congratulating them on another successful Foodaroo.
“It’s been kind of building every year, and it’s great to see the turnout and the range of people — that’s always what we strive for,” Lisa Mitchell said. She noted that the $3 entry fee, a necessity to pay for overhead expenses, didn’t seem to reduce attendance from previous years.
Andy Mitchell reminisced on how far the event had come.
“Five years ago, Lisa was pining about wanting to throw a food truck festival, and then five years later, here’s the fourth annual Foodaroo,” he said.
Lisa nodded. “It’s a dream come true.”

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