Food, beer, music trucking to South Orange


Patrons enjoying craft beers at last year’s annual Craft Beer and Food Truck Festival. Photo courtesy of Tracey Randinelli.

Those looking for an assortment of food, beer and live music are in luck.

Students will not have to travel far, as the third annual Seton Village Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival will be held on Friday, Sept. 23 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Irvington Avenue between Ward Place and Tichenor Avenue/Riggs Place.

The festival will feature at least 15 food trucks, a craft beer garden and two stages that will be occupied by musical acts like Brother Valiant, Wedeya, Stuff Bros and Flip Da Skrip.

There is no cost to enter, but the live performances will be the only free part of the evening.

“Whatever people are purchasing is on them, but the entertainment and just getting access in – there’s no cover charge,” said Sheena Collum, South Orange Village President.

The festival originates from a survey conducted by the Village and The Stillman School of Business, according to Collum. The goal of the survey was to improve Irvington Avenue, according to chairman of the Seton Village Committee, Doug Zacker.

“The survey said that we should do whatever we can to increase the presence of lots of people there,” according to Zacker, He noted the festival has drawn 3,000 guests each year.

Seton Hall University, which is listed as a “premier sponsor,” will be well-represented thanks to appearances by the Pirate mascot and the 2016 Big East Tournament Championship trophy. The event coincides with the start of Seton Hall Weekend (Sept. 23-25), which Collum hopes will draw both students and parents.

Tracey Randinelli, a member of the Seton Village Committee, said the University’s involvement shows unity within the community.

“It’s important for the community because, while we might not be affiliated with Seton Hall in terms of being a student there or an employee there, we’re absolutely affiliated in terms of being part of the overall community,” she said. “That’s something our group really tries to foster.”

Chelsea Wilson, the Student Government Association’s speaker of the senate, echoed those thoughts.

“I am looking forward to a fun night with my friends and being able to connect with the South Orange Community,” said Wilson, a senior marketing and management major in an email interview.

“I love events like this that bridge the gap between the Seton Hall students and the Village residents.”

Wilson and everyone else in attendance will have a long list of food options, with pizza, burritos, burgers, Thai, ice cream and more trucks booked for the night. Craft beer drinkers will be well-accommodated as well, with breweries like Flying Fish, Forgotten Boardwalk and New Jersey Beer Co. offering a selection of pale ales, IPAs, porters and other styles of beer. Only those who are at least 21 years old will be allowed into the beer garden, which is being hosted by Gaslight Brewery & Restaurant. The area will be monitored by a private security company, Collum said.

Wilson, who has never attended the festival, said she is looking forward to the drink selection, as well as the Empanada Guy truck.

“I am into craft beer,” the 21-year-old said. “There is a biergarten in my town back home that I love, so I am excited to try out the one at this festival.”

Gary Phillips can be reached at or on Twitter @GaryHPhillips.

Author: Gary Phillips

Gary Phillips is a journalism major at Seton Hall University where he serves as Editor-in-Chief of The Setonian. In addition, Phillips is also a columnist at FanRag Sports and a contributing writer for Jets Wire. He has also interned at CNBC and The Bergen Record and written for Bleacher Report and Double G Sports, in addition to freelance work. You can follow Phillips on Twitter @GaryHPhillips and see all of his work at

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