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UPDATED: Creekside Classic draws 18,000

Event: Creekside Classic brought out about 18,000 people; gave car lots exposure

Posted: May 17, 2011 1:09 a.m.
Updated: May 17, 2011 1:09 a.m.

Hundreds line up for food from some of the 54 gourmet food trucks at The Gourmet Food Truck Festival and Classic Car Show, also known as the Creekside Classic, in Valencia on Sunday. About 18,000 people showed up, according to event organizers.

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About 18,000 people hungry for food truck cuisine migrated to Valencia on Sunday to chow down at The Gourmet Food Truck Festival and Classic Car Show, also known as the Creekside Classic.

Officials were still counting Monday proceeds raised at the event to benefit the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Foundation.
Proceeds were earned from VIP parking fees, portions of the proceeds from food sold at the event, raffles and entry fees from people showing off their classic cars. The proceeds will benefit the nonprofit foundation that provides cash for equipment at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, foundation President Ken Wiseman said.

The Creekside Classic dwarfed turnouts at other food festivals in recent months. The festivals have become popular throughout the Santa Clarita Valley as part of a larger Los Angeles-area trend.

The foot traffic was a boon to local car dealers, which used the event to show off recent improvements made to Creekside Road. Some local car dealers had been apprehensive about closing the street, but the food truck festival didn’t impede car sales, said Don Fleming, president of the Santa Clarita Valley Auto Dealers Association.

Eight of 13 dealerships sold vehicles during the Creekside Classic, he said.

“We didn’t think we would sell any cars,” Fleming said. “When you have 18,000 people walking by your product, I don’t think there’s any amount of money we could have spent to get that kind of exposure.”

Officials organizing the event used past experience from similar food truck festivals to make sure there was enough space — and food — for patrons.

In October 2010, some of the 8,000 patrons of the inaugural Gourmet Food Truck Festival commissioned by Newhall Land Development Inc. at the Bridgeport Marketplace complained of large crowds and long lines.

That event had 22 food trucks. The Creekside Classic featured 54, Newhall Land spokeswoman Marlee Lauffer said.

“This was a great opportunity to use a much larger venue,” Lauffer said. “We learned that a bigger location and more trucks would make (the festival) even better.”

While a second Creekside Classic has not been planned, officials said they expect the festival to become an annual fixture.

The Creekside Classic was sponsored by the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Business Alliance, the Valencia Auto Center, Newhall Land Development Inc., the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Foundation and The Signal.

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