Gears & Grub Moving to Downtown Erie, Set for Roar on the Shore Weekend
The popular food truck event Gears & Grub, which has been held at the West Erie Plaza in Millcreek Township for the past three years, will be hosted this year in downtown Erie’s Perry Square.
Erie News Now has confirmed that the Erie Food Truck Alliance is organizing the event, and the permit paperwork is now in the works with the City of Erie to bring it downtown. The group has discussed permit requirements and associated fees with the City, and said it is excited to host the fourth annual event in downtown Erie.
The Food Truck Alliance plans to host Gears & Grub, which will include about 15 food truck vendors, on Friday, July 19 and Saturday, July 20 - the same weekend as Roar on the Shore motorcycle rally, which is now being based at Lake Erie Speedway. They are looking to have the event on the evening of the 18th as well.
Much like other downtown events, like the Block Parties hosted by the Erie Downtown Partnership, the Food Truck Alliance will be responsible for paying for officers. The organization plans to have four to six officers working the event.
Gears & Grub originated in 2016 as an alternative to Roar on the Shore because organizers of the motorcycle rally would not allow local food vendors, specifically food trucks, to set up in downtown Erie during the four-day motorcycle rally.
Keith Groff with the Food Truck Alliance said the group is working with the Lake Erie Ale Trail to get local breweries involved, as well as downtown Erie bars and restaurants, to give the event a local feel.
Gears & Grub was organized by the owners of the West Erie Plaza for the past three years. It discontinued the event after 2018 because the redeveloped plaza is now occupied by more businesses and cannot spare the parking and space like before.
Gears & Grub will feature local food trucks, a beer garden and live music. You can also check out classic cars and bikes, as well as local art and businesses.
"I am incredibly excited and super stressed, all in one," said Alison Green, event organizer. "We really can't wait."
"We're excited," said Keith Groff, event organizer and food truck owner. "[I] couldn't be happier with the city approving us to do it. The local food trucks are all excited that we're going to be able to bring the Gears and Grub downtown."
Others have expressed interest in hosting an event in downtown Erie during the same weekend as Roar on the Shore. The City said it provided its preliminary approval because of the event's local emphasis.