MUSCATINE, Iowa–Four years ago, Bobby Ray Bunch approached his wife, Jacquelyn Bunch, with an idea for a new take on a summer festival in their hometown of Le Claire focused on food trucks. “Bobby came to me and said I think I can get a lot of trucks on the levy–what if we had a contest?” shared Jacquelyn Bunch.
As the couple had only just started their events business, they thought Food Truck Fight offered a good chance to start small. They got nine trucks to participate, and they hoped around 1,000 people would attend. The event proved a smash hit, and around 4,000 people attended. The Bunches knew they had found something good and hosted five additional Food Truck Fights, four in Le Clare and one in Colorado.
Over the years, Bobby Ray Bunch, also a musician, had performed at Contrary Brewery numerous times and started to get the sense that Muscatine could offer a great location for another Food Truck Fight. As soon as the Bunches started working with the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Visit Muscatine, they knew they had found the perfect spot. Through their partnership with these organizations, Food Truck Fight was able to lower their general admission price to only $5 for those 12 and up.
As part of each Food Truck Fight, the Bunches donate a portion of their proceeds to a local organization. When they heard about Keep Muscatine Beautiful’s push to build an amphitheater they knew they wanted to get behind it. “We want to help out as much as we can and we want to come back and keep using it,” enthused Jacquelyn Bunch.
On Sept. 18 from noon to 8 p.m. Food Truck Fight will take over the Muscatine riverfront, with a total of 13 different food vendors, including two Muscatine County favorites, Arty’s Ice Cream & Grill and Quick-E’s Tacos. Attendees can order from any of the trucks’ full menus or get a $3 sample instead. Signs with QR codes on them in various spots in the park will allow people to vote for their favorite, with the day’s champion getting crowned at 7 p.m.
Food Truck Fight will also have lots of entertainment opportunities suitable for all. For the youngest attendees, bounce houses and face painting will prove crowd pleasers. Magician David Casas, a Muscatine native will walk the grounds performing tricks. Sports fans can watch the Iowa Hawkeyes football game in the Mobile Party Experience Trailer. A beer tend will have brews of all sorts for only $5 a glass as well as soft drinks. Everyone in attendance will enjoy live music, performed by Frankie Joe & Kinfolk, the Stone Flowers, and Corporate Rock. The Bunches will continue to update the list of food trucks and bands on the Food Truck Fight website, as well as conduct presale and VIP ticket sales there.
As chefs of all sorts gear up for Muscatine’s first Food Truck Fight, the Bunches anticipate a great turnout and a great night. “It’s just a fun family friendly event the people of Le Claire enjoy every summer and we’re looking forward to bringing it down the river.”