FRAMINGHAM – With 20 food trucks, a half-dozen specialty food vendors, and a tasting tent that includes hard cider as well as beer and wine, MetroFest will appeal to every taste when this popular arts, music, and food truck festival returns to Bowditch Athletic & Cultural Complex on Saturday, June 25, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Belgian waffles from Zinneken’s, chocolate bacon truffles from the Bacon Truck, Curry Katsu from Moyzilla, and Whole Hog BBQ Burrito from EZ StrEATs are among the dishes offered by trucks specializing in Asian, French, Mexican, organic, and seafood fare.
The beer- and wine-tasting tent, which debuted at MetroFest 2015, returns with an expanded outdoor space and the addition of a hard-cider tasting. For $3, adults 21 and older, with proper ID, may purchase four, 2-ounce tastings of Lookout Farm hard cider, beers from Craft Beer Cellar, and wine from Fifth Avenue Liquors.
Food and drink vendors dotting the layout include Woodville Maples, Joni’s Cannolis, Chocolate Therapy, DL’s Fresh Squeeze, Boston Nut Roasters, Ben & Jerry’s, Fudge ‘n’ Stuff, and Strange Brew, which will offer a beer-making demonstration and samples of their flavored seltzers.
Intended to showcase the region’s arts, culture, and commerce in an affordable and family-friendly atmosphere, MetroFest utilizes the entire quarter-mile-long, enclosed complex with an expanded food truck area, two performance stages, a classic car show, a Kids Town with inflatable bounce houses and Touch-A-Truck, and 100 exhibitors and artisans circling the running track and dotting the entire grounds.
MetroFest debuted in 2014 and is a program of the MetroWest Visitors Bureau (MWVB), a regional nonprofit organization dedicated to stimulating the region’s economy by raising visibility for the area’s cultural, historic, culinary, hospitality, retail, and recreation offerings.
More than 13,500 people attended the first two MetroFests, held in September of 2014 and 2015.
Organizations hailing from 27 municipalities are participating in this year’s regionwide MetroFest.
Through the partnership of six municipalities—Framingham, Ashland, Bellingham, Franklin, Hopkinton and Natick—a Community Stage will showcase local performers.
Appearing on the Main Stage will be the Love Dogs, Sympli Whitney, Eguie Castrillo and Mar Del Norte Salsa Band, and Sudacas. MAGIC 106.7 DJ David O’Leary, a Framingham resident, will serve as emcee.
The expanded number of exhibitor spaces showcase a variety of cultural and community groups, crafters, artisans, and a limited number of retailers specific to the region. In addition to showing and selling their products, most exhibitors offer an interactive experience or service, such as face-painting, in their space.
To ensure that MetroFest is affordable to families, the MetroWest Visitors Bureau has set ticket prices as $7 for adults, $3 for ages 5-12, and no fee for children under 5. All activities at the festival are free; attendees may purchase their own food and beverages.
Event organizers will provide free, handicapped-accessible shuttles—sponsored by Align Credit Union—to nearby school lots throughout the day. Many other free lots surrounding the complex are within walking distance.
“We want this event to be as accessible and affordable as possible for guests, whether they live nearby or are coming from outside the region,” said Annie Murphy, chair of the MWVB board of directors. “A family of four can have an entire day of fun for $20.”
Tickets are available online at http://www.metrowestvisitors.org/metrofest/metrofest-tickets/ and may be purchased at the event as well.
“Now in its third year, MetroFest is an established tradition that brings together the entire region to kick off the summer,” said Susan Nicholl, executive director of the MetroWest Visitors Bureau. “The business community, and participating municipalities, have been incredibly supportive of this effort to showcase the region’s arts, culture, and other assets and build pride in them.”
Major supporters include Avidia Bank, which is sponsoring KidsTown; Choose Framingham, Ticket Sponsor; TD Bank, Community Stage Sponsor; Framingham Park & Recreation Department, Food Truck Area Sponsor; and Bernardi AutoGroup.
Also providing significant support are MetroWest Medical Center, Align Credit Union, DCU Credit Union, American Girl, and Framingham State University. WSRO serves as Media Partner.
Supporting sponsors include AFC Urgent Care, Ameresco, Bancroft Boxing, Belkin Family Lookout Farm, Cinamon & Hubley Dental Practice, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, CrossFit Framingham, Fifth Avenue Liquors, Impact Framingham, IMPACT MetroWest, James Hardie, Landscape Depot, Learning Center for the Deaf, MassBay Community College, MetroWest Chamber of Commerce, Middlesex Savings Bank, MindsetGo, Natick Center Cultural District, NEWPRO, Renewal by Andersen, Sungevity, The TJX Companies, Wegmans, and Wexler Chiropractic & Wellness Center.
State and regional partners include the MetroWest Regional Transportation Authority, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism.