BOYERTOWN — The Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles held its fifth annual The Truck Stops Here Mobile Madness event on June 29.
The Food Truck Festival generally has 1,200 to 1,500 attendees. Each year the event grows and offers more food options and different entertainment.
“The Boyertown Auto Body Works (the Boyertown Museum operates out of former factory and office buildings of the Body Works) used to manufacture food trucks when it was in business (1926-1990)," explained Kendra Cook, curator and manager at the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles. "The staff was inspired when looking through archival photos of the food trucks built here. Given the resurgence in food trucks’ popularity, it seemed like a natural event to hold.”
Eight food trucks took part this year, including Gourmand Cafe and Mister Softee — the only two trucks to attend all five festivals. Waffle Mamas and K’s Kitchen were new to the festival.
The offerings were diverse with options like Soul food, seafood, chicken & waffles, gourmet Berks County cuisine (Gourmand), ice cream, smoothies, and of course burgers and hot dogs.
Tory MacKenzie traveled from Pottsville. This was her third time to the food truck festival.
“I heard about it the first time from a friend. I was curious about the museum, and I love food, so this was a great opportunity to explore both! I tried the barbecue nachos at K’s Kitchen, which were absolutely fabulous and ice cream from Mister Softee because it’s a Boyertown staple.”
MacKenzie also tried a Magners Irish Pear Cider from the Molly Maguire's Irish Restaurant and Pub’s Beer Garden.
The Beer Garden was new this year.
“Previous years we had Sly Fox bring their beer truck,” said Cook. “Due to scheduling conflicts, we could not work it out with Sly Fox this year, so Molly Maguire’s is joining us and we have decided to change it up with a beer garden.”
This year’s festival theme centered around camping.
“Wheels in the Wilderness,” the Museum’s newest, special exhibit also opened on June 29. “Wheels in the Wilderness” features a 1966 Ford Tour Wagon camper and will explore the history of camping in the United States.
The museum acquired the 1966 Tour Wagon in 2003. The wagon was built by the Boyertown Auto Body Works and was gifted to the museum by the Chapin Family in honor of Jack Chapin.
“The Sundown was donated and returned back to its birthplace,” said Matt Loizeaux, a Museum of Historic Vehicles volunteer.
Also new for this year were displays by The Wheelmen and The Tin Can Tourists.
The Wheelman is a nonprofit organization “dedicated to the enjoyment and preservation of our bicycling heritage.” The Wheelmen boast 1,100 members from 46 states, D.C., and 10 foreign countries.
National Commander of The Wheelmen Eric Knight rode his 1884 Columbia Expert 56” High Wheeler and 11-year-old Jullian Montsch rode a 36” High Wheeler reproduction on South Walnut Street and around the Museum parking lot.
Invented in Europe, the High Wheel was brought to the U.S. in 1876 at the Continental World Fair.
“The larger the wheel, the higher the gear, the faster you can go,” said Knight.
He went on to say that the hardest part of riding a High Wheeler, also known as a Penny Farthing, is getting on and off, “If you can ride a modern bike, you can ride a High Wheeler.”
“Balance is balance,” said Ray Montsch of Dover, Del.
Tin Can Tourists brought seven trailers to Boyertown that day including Brandon Clayson’s 45 foot long, 1956 Rocket, a 1961 Winnebago owned by Dave and Janice Coon, Mike and Kathy Marshall’s 1946 Prairie Schooner, Dennis Frymoyer’s 1966 Serro Scotty, a 1939 Aerolux Teardrop Trailer pulled by a 1939 chevy owned by Ray Travis, and a 1961 Overlander Airstream Landyatt owned by Paul Knittel and Rhea Keller Knittel.
Paul Knittel and Rhea Keller Knittel or Mexico, N.Y. said, “We didn’t even look at a map when we got the call about the event. We figured why not?”
Brandon Clayson, who coordinated this event for his club, The Tin Can Tourists, mentioned that they were asked to attend this year’s festival. “The Tin Can Tourists are an all make and model vintage trailer and motor coach club.”
Tory MacKenzie was glad to see the trailers, “The campers were awesome and a welcomed change.”
“The Truck Stops Here is one of our major fundraisers for the Museum. All proceeds go towards furthering the Boyertown Museum’s mission to preserve and educate the public about Pennsylvania’s road transportation history,” said Cook.