Sept. 18, 2015 By Michael Florio
Viva La Comida is set to have its biggest vendor selection yet this Saturday.
The 82nd Street Partnership has announced the vendors that will attend Viva La Comida, the popular festival that will bring food, art and entertainment to 82nd Street this Saturday from 12 pm to 7 pm.
Arepa Lady, D’Angelo’s Sausage & Pepper Truck, the meatball food cart MTBLLS NYC and the popular Astoria vendor King of Falafel are some of the 12 food vendors that will participate in the festival, which runs on 82nd Street from Roosevelt Avenue to Baxter Avenue.
Leslie Ramos, the 82nd Street Partnership’s Executive Director, said this will be the most vendors to ever participate in the festival. Last year nine vendors participated.
“We had to put several vendors on a waiting list,” she said. “So many wanted to participate and there just isn’t enough room.”
This is the first year Ramos, who started with the organization in October, will present the event.
The organization began hosting the event in 2012, with only a small part of the street by Dunningham Triangle closed off, according to Ramos. That year roughly 500 attendees showed up; attendance hit 2,000 last year. Ramos expects to meet or exceed that number this year.
“I expect this to be the biggest festival yet,” Ramos said.
There were five food trucks and carts in total that participated in 2012.
More than 10 restaurants and coffee shops will be joining the vendors, including Tulcingo, Casa Rivera and Golden City Chifa Restaurant. Each restaurant is encouraged to create a specialty dish for the event, with many offering discounts, Ramos said. Some of the restaurants also set up outdoor seating for the event.
Attendees can also enjoy live musical performances by numerous artists including the Los Aliens Electric Quartet, singer Sofia Ribeiro, children’s entertainment and an interactive art show by Adrian Bermeo. The organization is setting up a stage and sound system for performances.
Ramos hopes to present residents with entertainment, while giving back to local restaurants and putting the spot light on Jackson Heights.
In the future, Ramos would like to bring more vendors and artists to the festival by incorporating a second block into the event, having it stretch along 82nd Street from 37th Avenue to Baxter Avenue. However, she said city regulations currently prevent the organization from doing so.
For a full list of restaurants, vendors and entertainers go to: http://www.vivalacomida.com/