In 2015, the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce introduced the very first state-wide food truck competition in the state, The Texas Food Truck Showdown, an experience that would become one of Waco’s signature events.
The Chamber's special events team anticipated around 5,000 people to be in attendance for the inaugural event and hoped to secure 20 food trucks from around the state to compete. The first Showdown blew the team's goals out of the water, boasting an impressive 35 food trucks traveling to Waco from all over the state to compete while serving upwards of 15,000 people who attended.
After an outpouring of support from the community, the City of Waco, sponsors and food trucks alike, the Greater Waco Chamber knew The Texas Food Truck Showdown was here to stay. After a successful second, third, fourth and fifth year, The Texas Food Truck Showdown is returning to downtown Waco annually in March welcoming up to 40 food trucks from around the country and over 25,000 people each year!
Get your belly ready for some good eats, we'll see you in Heritage Square on Saturday, March 28 for The Texas Food Truck Showdown 2020!
We are excited to announce that The Texas Food Truck Showdown will be back on March 28, 2020. Below is the Schedule of Events, but please check back regularly as we will be adding information as we get closer to the event. Follow us on Facebook for the latest information!
- Celebrity judging from 8 to 10 a.m. *food trucks will begin selling their signature dishes to the public at 10 a.m.*
- Competition and Public Voting from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – *Only Tasty Tickets are accepted during this time. Tickets will not be available for purchase after 3 p.m.*
- Pop Up Market featuring local artists with unique pieces and products. From various artwork to handcrafted jewelry and pottery, visit the market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Children’s box lunches will be available for purchase from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. No Tasty Tickets necessary. Purchase for $5 with cash or card. Box lunches will include peanut butter & jelly sandwiches with a side and a drink.
- Beer and Wine Garden will be available from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Be sure to enjoy some spirits at our beer and wine garden! Tasty Tickets will not be accepted at the Beer and Wine Garden. Cash or card only.
- Live music and entertainment starting at noon, that will continue throughout the day on our main stage.
- The KidsZone will include face painting among other children’s activities throughout the day.
- The Texas Food Truck Champion will be announced around 4:30 p.m.
- Food Trucks open full menus from 4 to 8 p.m. for cash/card purchases. *No Tasty Tickets will be accepted after 4 p.m.
- Live broadcasts from iHeartMedia throughout the day from Waco 100.
- Live coverage from KWTX News from their Game Day trailer.
Thank you to our presenting sponsor, Texas Farm Bureau Insurance.
The key to happiness at The Texas Food Truck Showdown is Tasty Tickets.
To get food from ANY of the trucks at The Texas Food Truck Showdown you’ll need to purchase Tasty Tickets. During the competition, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tasty Tickets are required to purchase a signature dish. Only signature dishes will be served during the competition and trucks will not accept cash or cards. Tasty Tickets must be purchased at the ticket booths located near the event entrance using cash or card. Once you have Tasty Tickets, you are free to use them at any truck you want!
One Tasty Ticket costs $5 and will buy you one 4-ounce signature dish from any truck.
*Please Note: Tasty Tickets will not be sold after 3 p.m. and they become invalid after 4 p.m.; no refunds for unused tickets. The food trucks will open their full menu at 4 p.m. for cash/card purchases.
Bottled water and soda will also be available for purchase directly from the drink trailer with cash or card from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (drinks cannot be purchased from food truck vendors). Beer and Wine Garden will be available from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
NO tasty tickets will be accepted for drinks, beer or wine.
The 2020 Texas Food Truck Showdown Champion will feature five celebrity judges for our annual event on March 28, 2020. Stay tuned for the 2020 Celebrity Judge Panel announcement, coming soon!
The judges will sample each truck’s signature dish from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., where they determined the overall champion and category winners. Once the celebrity judging is complete, the public is invited to taste each truck’s signature dish and vote on the People’s Choice Award winner from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Lilian Halabi, owner and baker of Lily’s Cakes, is the heart and soul of the specialty bakery in Harker Heights, Texas. She is a self-taught cake artist and baker who started her business in 2010 and has been serving the needs of the Central Texas area since. Her background is rich in different cuisines, from South America to the Middle Eastern and American. Recently, Halabi won a Food Network Cake Wars competition (the Monopoly episode of Season 4) and was voted Best in Central Texas from 2013 to 2016.
Doug Renfro is president of Renfro Foods and oversees new product development. He also helps manage a number of administrative areas of the business. Reared in the family business, Renfro has spent a majority of his career working in a number of different capacities at Renfro Foods. For instance, as a teenager, Renfro worked in production, while in college he weighed out all the spices for daily production. He is also involved in a number of professional and community organizations, is a past president of the Tarrant Area Food Bank, the Texas Food Processors Association and the North Texas Food Sales Association. He is also on the McDonald Observatory Board of Visitors and the Chile Pepper Institute’s Advisory Council, among others.
Charlie Morrison serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dallas-based Wingstop Inc. An industry veteran with more than 25 years at companies including Pizza Hut, Steak and Ale, Kinko’s, and Boston Market, Morrison most recently served as President and CEO of Rave Restaurant Group, parent of the award-winning Pie Five Pizza Company, the nation’s first fast-casual pizza chain. The food service industry has recognized Morrison’s accomplishments with several awards, including the 2012 Hot Concepts Award and the 2015 Golden Chain Award, as well as the 2016 Silver Plate award from the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association.
Mark Schneider is in his fourth year as president of the Texas Chefs Association and oversees the culinary arts programs at TSTC campuses in Abilene, Harlingen, Hutto and Waco. Schneider received his Culinary Diploma from Greater Cincinnati Culinary Academy and his BAAS in Business Administration from Tarleton State University. He has tremendous culinary experience spanning the State of Texas including Baylor University, WB Ranch, Aims Academy and Ridgewood Country Club. Schneider was also Published in Texas Chefs Association Magazine for his article “Lone Star Chef.”
Thanh Le operates the family-run restaurant, Clay Pot, and has been serving traditional Vietnamese cuisine and other dishes in Waco for 20 years. Thanh and Phong Le make sure every dish at their restaurant is filled with authentic Vietnamese flavor. The menu features traditional dished such as Pho, and herbal soup, chicken and vegetable dumplings. Thanh also likes to surprise her customers with some “off-the-menu” items, and many customers order “whatever you’re cooking today.” Her authentic cuisine is made with natural and often organic ingredients cooked home-style.
NOTE: By attending the event, you consent to be filmed/recorded as part of the audience for security and broadcast without payments.
Still have questions? Use the contact form below.
Registrations for The Texas Food Truck Showdown 2020 volunteers will open on February 7, 2020.
There are multiple volunteer positions for this event. The jobs are broken down into three-hour shifts and volunteers can sign up for just one shift or multiple shifts - any help is appreciated! Each job plays a huge role in helping answer questions, greeting event-goers as they arrive, assisting with directions and making sure that each guest is having a great time. In exchange for your help, we're happy to present you with a unique 2020 event volunteer t-shirt!
You will receive more information regarding your volunteer position in the weeks prior to the event.
We are all excited to work with you again on another great event! Your hard work and dedication make a huge impact on our guests and we greatly appreciate it!
Volunteer Sign-Up opens February 7, 2020.*
*You must be 18 or older in order to volunteer.
Questions about volunteering? Please use the contact form below.