At Pittsfield Suns' Food Truck Feastival, a welcome chance to step up to the plate

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PITTSFIELD — Food and good weather pair well in bringing people together, and hundreds flocked to Wahconah Park on Saturday afternoon for a bit of both.

For the third year in a row, the park hosted the Pittsfield Suns' Food Truck Feastival to bring attention to the start of the baseball season for the Futures League team.

"We're expecting 1,550 to 2,000 people," organizer Connor Carey said about 1 p.m., with the festival scheduled to run until 7. "I was glued to the weather app all week like, 'please change, please change.' This is great."

Eleven food trucks offering a variety of American and ethnic cuisines lined the venue.

Some visitors picked a truck and had a full lunch, while others sampled smaller portions from several trucks.

Katie Smegal, of Pittsfield, said she planned on doing the latter.

"We are here because both of my sons love to eat," Smegal said, pushing her 14-month-old in a stroller. "We're going to eat our way through the trucks."

Wyatt Smegal, 3, already had made his first selection: a massive pickle from Biggins Diggins, a Lanesborough-based barbecue spot.

Pickle in hand, Wyatt toddled over to a prize wheel and gave it a lucky spin. After collecting his loot — a Pittsfield Suns ticket — his mother tucked it safely away.

The festival was the first seasonal event for the Pittsfield family.

"We try to do as much as we can to support the community," she said about taking part in local events.

The event also kicked off the summer season for Stephen Bagley and Jennifer Harp, or New Paltz, N.Y.

Bagley has a seasonal campsite in Lanesborough and planned to eat at Biggins Diggins when he and Harp saw a sign advertising the festival, so they checked it out instead.

When they saw Jennifer and Terry Bishop's truck at the event, they took it as "a sign" to try the food.

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Later in the night, they planned on heading back to Lanesborough for a concert at their campground.

The Bishops opened Biggins Diggins 10 months ago. Saturday was the first time they have debuted their food truck at a festival.

And as much as Wyatt seemed to enjoy the plump pickle, it wasn't Biggins Diggins' biggest seller Saturday.

"Definitely, the mac and cheese," Jennifer Bishop said of the most-popular menu item. "The pork sandwich is a close second."

While the food was the draw Saturday, there also were more than a dozen craft vendors selling handmade products.

Crystal Howcroft, of Adams, sells jewelry, much of it steampunk or donning glitter. Craft fairs have taken her as far as the nation's capital and New Hampshire.

"I do a fair amount," she said. "I have one almost every weekend."

On Saturday, though, she didn't have to travel far, and she was to spend the rest of the weekend relaxing.

In between customers, she popped over to the Nom Nom Hut truck, which was selling Japanese food.

"I got some gyoza," she said. "They were so delicious."

The park will continue to prepare for its Futures League opening day Thursday, when the Suns will play the Bristol Blues at 6:30 p.m.

Ron Provencher, of Hinsdale, has been coming to Wahconah Park since the 1960s, when, occasionally, he would see the Boston Red Sox play. Now, he runs the gate in the summer and, for the past three years, he and his wife, Brenda, have been housing Suns players during the season.

"There is a difference between these guys playing and the pros playing," he said. "These guys always give 110 percent and sometimes the pros don't."

Haven Orecchio-Egresitz can be reached at horecchio@berkshireeagle.com, @HavenEagle on Twitter and 413-770-6977.


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