October 5, By Tara Law
More than 20 Jackson Heights restaurants will come together next month to celebrate the Himalayan dumpling known as a “momo” and the family-owned restaurants that serve it.
The annual Momo Crawl returns for its sixth year on Sunday, Nov. 5 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Guests will follow a map to travel between the restaurants, sampling momos sold for a dollar each.
For the first time, festival guests will be escorted around the perimeter of the festival in two old fashion wooden trolleybuses.
According to event founder Jeff Orlick, the trolleys will enable guests to visit restaurants that are farther away and typically do not get as much traffic during the Momo Crawl.
The organizers are also introducing a championship belt made of a yak pelt as the main prize. From now on, the belt will be awarded annually to the restaurant serving the best momos.
The crawl will also feature music and dance performances from Nepali and Tibetan artists and musicians.
Orlick explained that since the majority of restaurants that serve momos are owned by Tibetan refugees, it is particularly important to the organizers to help promote the businesses.
In this vein, the event will be cohosted for the first time by the organization Students for a Free Tibet. The proceeds from the day will benefit the organization.
Last year, 1,200 people attended the Momo Crawl, but Orlick hopes that the additional help from the nonprofit will enable the event to expand even more.
The center of the event will be located this year at 37th Avenue between 74th and 75th streets in Jackson Heights.
Those who wish to participate can purchase a momo passport at www.momocrawl.com.