There’s something about the onset of summer that creates a sense of ease in the soul — maybe it’s a leftover connection to our childhood joy at the end of a school year. A metaphysical weight seems to lift as the days grow longer and the weather grows warmer and the possibilities seem endless, from yearned-for vacations to lazy afternoons in the park to concerts under the stars.
But perhaps that change we feel comes, too, from a change in food. We move from the heavy, starchy comfort of winter foods — the squashes, the root veggies the lasagna and beef stew and cheesy soups in bread bowls — to the lighter fare of summer. Fresh tomatoes — plump and almost meaty, not those grainy hothouse excuses for our favorite member of the nightshade family — work their way back into our diets, sometimes atop grilled pieces of meat or in light, cool pasta salads with cucumbers and fresh herbs. And we can eat outdoors again, surrounded by the very weather that has created this sense of youthful ease.
So if summer means embracing that newfound comfort, getting outside, enjoying some live music and partaking in freshly prepared food, then Prospect Sound Bites is a manifestation of the season.
For the past five years, Sound Bites has thrown out a gentle invitation to Boulder County: Come mingle and linger in the sunshine of Prospect Downtown Park in Longmont, where bands play and food sizzles every Monday night from May through September. And this year’s festival, its sixth run, boasts what looks to be the largest collection of food trucks in Northern Colorado.
And because such a claim will make journalists call you up and ask for proof, Merry Ann Webb, event organizer for Sound Bites (and co-owner of The Rib House in Longmont), did a little recon before the interrogating began.
“There’s nothing this big that draws this many people past the Denver metro area — nothing between here and Wyoming,” Webb says. “The only one is [Civic Center Eats] in Denver. I confirmed with them yesterday — they go three days for lunch and draw a crowd of around 1,000. We draw 2,000-3,000 every Monday.”
So while Civic Center Eats does boast one hell of a food truck line up, Webb notes they’re missing something pretty critical to a damn-fine summer afternoon.
“They don’t have a beer garden.”
Indeed, in addition to the 16-22 food trucks that will be slinging everything from Mexican feasts to Italian eats to vegan treats (and lots of delicious sweets, because the rhyming just felt too good to stop), this year marks the addition of beer tents at Prospect Sound Bites, sponsored by Wibby Brewing and Oskar Blues. Proceeds from the beer garden will go to the Longmont Community Foundation, which works to improve life in Longmont and the St. Vrain Valley.
Webb says this was made possible by a cultural grant from the Longmont Community Foundation back in February.
The event kicks off on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30 with an all-day event featuring Pete Pidgeon and Hazel Miller.
Exotico tequila will also be joining the beer tent to offer free cocktail samples on the festival’s opening day, so bring your ID and a hankering for a tiny Salty Chihuahua.
A probably, mostly complete list of food trucks at Prospect Sound Bites:
7 West — A mobile pizza unit
Burger Radio — High frequency grub
Comida — A mobile Mexican feast
Cuban Fusion — A mobile journey for your taste buds
Fajita Function/Dog Haus — Gourmet Mexican food, brats & dogs
Slawpy Barn — All American food
Suburban Wiener — Artisan sausages & fancy-pants dogs
The French Twist — Made-from scratch, French cuisine
Eighty Ate —Gourmet sliders & more
Knock On Wood —BBQ & smoketruck
Farmer Girl — Local, sustainable food
Lauer-Krauts — Fresh, homemade kraut burgers
Munchie Machine — Gourmet munchies to the masses
Talarico’s Italian Taste — Family tradition on the road
The Mac Shack — Comfort food done right
Verde — Work hard. Be nice. Eat burritos
Seb’s Pizza —Wood-fired pizza
Ba Nom A Nom — Vegan treat truck
Sweet Cow — Delicious ice cream
Ems Ice Cream — Certified organic ice cream