SPRINGFIELD TWP. Firefighter and paramedic Mike Marias wanted to give back to the community and figured there was no what better way than through food, brews and music.
Just like that, the first Food Truck Festival on the Lake was born. The event is being held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 26 at Springfield Lake on Canfield Road. With a large variety of food trucks, craft beer and music the event promises to be a fun filled day.
"When I came up with the idea for the festival, I honestly thought what better way to give back to the community, utilize our beautiful lake front and introduce non-residents to the hidden gem that is Springfield Lake," said Marias.
Marias said when he was working for Bath Township and the city of Fairlawn fire departments, he became familiar with the food truck rodeo held in Fairlawn. He is nearing his fourth year working at Springfield and said he couldn't help but to admire the view from the back of the fire station.
"It has to be one of the best views for a fire department in Summit County," he said.
The Friday night concert series and Rock the Docks are great events on the lakefront, "but I couldn’t help but think that this view is still underutilized," said Marias.
He said what better way to attract people to the lakefront and provide a great event to the community than to bring together several elements that everyone can enjoy - great food at a location that rivals most others, incredible local musicians playing music from the late 1960s to 2006, and craft beer from Sibling Revalry Brewing Company, an emerging brewing company out of Westlake.
Bruce George, a longtime Springfield Township firefighter/medic, has been working to organize the music for the event. George grew up in Springfield and remains a resident and supporter of the community. He has a background in music as an alum of the Springfield High School Band where he was a percussionist. He also dabbles in open mic nights throughout the Akron area and has been invited to play with several local bands.
"It happened to work to our advantage to have a connection between the fire department and the local music scene that we could feature local talent at such an event," he said.
George is the originator of the Third Alarm Band, and his daughters, Cori and Ami, will be featured in several songs with the band at the festival. Also in the band are Chad Morrison on trumpet, Ashley Fraley on trombone and Doug Ramsey on keyboard/guitar/bass/vocals, all of whom are Springfield Alumni.
Another act featured that day is JT Teis, an interactive solo artist that is a Portage Lakes staple, who will be opening the day with an acoustic set. He is also known as a "walking Jukebox".
Although Marias did not grow up in Springfield, he said he has always tried to make a difference where he worked and for whatever community he is a part of.
"Springfield Fire and Parks department's are honored to host this event for our community, and to present something that Springfield has never done before," he said.
Food vendors will tantalize anyone's taste buds with Galley Boys from Swenson's to lobster rolls and stuffed corn, pierogies, grilled lemon chicken, crawfish, alligator, pitas and more. Food prices will run from $3 to $10 for entrees. Some of the 15 trucks that will be at the festival are: Get Stuffed, Lobster Louies, Swenson's and Ye Olde School. Springfield Band and Sports Booster parents will be pouring the beer and tickets will be one for $6 and three for $15. Non-alcoholic drinks are available through the food vendors.
Bring your blankets and chairs and enjoy a picnic on the Lakefront with food and the great sounds of talented local musicians. There will be a designated lot for motorcycle parking and also Handicap parking.