The aroma of traditional street fare and new novelty foods mingled together in Riverfront Park on Thursday afternoon, as thousands enjoyed the 39th annual Pig Out in the Park music and food festival.
The second day of Pig Out coincided with Spokane Public School’s first day of classes, which some venders and attendees say may have affected turnout during the day. Hardish Khinda, co-owner of Taste of India, which had a booth near a Spokane Falls Boulevard entrance to the park, said they had a slower start, but their business picked up throughout the day.
She said Taste of India has been at Pig Out since the restaurant was founded 18 years ago, and they’ve used it as an opportunity to educate Spokane about Indian food. Early on, she said, the business offered free samples so locals could learn to be more comfortable with Indian dishes. Now they’ve developed a relationship with customers and are known at Pig Out for their vegetarian and vegan options.
Venders said Pig Out is busiest during evenings and the upcoming holiday weekend. Tifa Puletasi, an employee at the Terry’s Breakfast booth, said the restaurant’s most popular items at Pig Out are their heartier foods, like the Block-o-Fries, a literal block of fries which can be served with Parmesan cheese or other toppings.
Terry’s Breakfast has a brick-and-mortar location in the area, but it also participates in other food events around the region. Puletasi said venders often see each other at different festivals in the area and have developed a sense of camaraderie during events.
“We kind of all know each other really well,” Puletasi said.
A wide variety of drinks and desserts are also available during Pig Out, with some booths taking a nontraditional approach to ice cream treats.
Ibajella’s Ice Cream Canes, which feature a crispy wafer on the outside and soft-serve ice cream on the inside, look similar to a miniature ice cream-filled saxophone. Every cane was decorated with chocolate Pocky biscuit sticks and sprinkles on both sides as well.
Ibajella’s employee Jun Oem said their booth, which also includes desserts frozen in liquid nitrogen, travels to festivals around the state and they try to make every dessert unique.
Other desserts available include traditional ice cream cones, frozen cheese cake and bananas, snow cones and elephant ears. Pig Out in the Park will run through Labor Day and includes live performances and beer gardens.
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