BRISTOL - Dozens of guests were already lined up for savory food truck cuisines at the soft opening of the Mum Festival on Memorial Boulevard Thursday evening.
On Friday, from 5 to 10 p.m., the Mum Festival officially kicks off with amusement rides, midway and fireworks.
Some of the food truck vendors included Ted’s World Famous Cheeseburgers, Full Bloom Catering, Deb’s Cafe, Nino D’s Coffee, Flavor and Sultan Kebab. Any food one could think of was present at the soft opening of the fair; rice balls, meatballs, fried Oreos, tropical drinks, loaded tater tots, lemonade, pulled pork sandwiches and philly cheese steaks.
Phyllis Amodio, chief sanitarian for the Bristol-Burlington Health District, said that her and three other health inspectors spent most of the day making sure all the food trucks and vendors passed inspection. One of her favorite spots is Sultan Kebab.
“I’ve been coming to the Mum Festival for at least 30 years. It brings back a lot of memories when I would come with my mom, aunts and cousins,” said Amodio. “I love the Sultan’s gyros. He has a very extensive menu.”
Telat Bozan, owner of Sultan Kebab, said he is proud to have the only Turkish food truck in the city.
“My favorite part of the festival is just meeting new friends and faces and having them try our food. We serve a variety of food and it’s all natural and fresh,” said Bozan.
Bozan, who’s been dishing up authentic Turkish cuisine at the Mum Festival for the past five years, said the lamb gyro and falafel are the most popular items on the menu.
“If someone is looking to try something new, I recommend our chef’s special, a wrap with beef or chicken mixed with sauteed onions, peppers, hot sauce and cheese. It’s delicious,” said Bozan.
Beside comfort food truck creations, guests also enjoyed a “paint and sip” activity as well as listening to soothing jazz music under the big tent. For $5 for a canvas from The Studio, guests could paint a variety of designs from samples with instructions provided.
Owner of The Studio on West Street in Bristol Ginger Grant said that she was happy to have had collaborated with the Mum Festival Committee to create the “soft-opening activity.”
“Last year we had an art gallery, and this year we decided to do a sip-and-paint event,” said Grant. “I’m here today because I just like to be a part of the community and I love helping people creatively.”
Bristol residents for over 65 years, Tim and Carolyn Perkins have been coming to the Mum Festival as long as they can remember.
“This is our first year coming on a Thursday evening though,” said Carolyn Perkins. “It gave us something to do tonight. I had some wonderful empanadas from Flavor. They were so good I went back for seconds! Now I’m contemplating dessert.”
Tim Perkins said, “I had a philly cheese steak, and now I’m just waiting for the jazz music to start because I just love jazz music.”
For more information about the Mum Festival, parking, and entertainment show times, visit .