SA hosts fourth annual Buffalo Untapped food festival
Food, beer and wine attract hundreds to Alumni Arena
Cold temperatures didn’t stop over 1,000 people from enjoying food and beverages outside on Sunday.
SA hosted their fourth annual Buffalo Untapped event in the Lasalle Lot at Alumni Arena. The food festival featured five different breweries and wineries along with eight food trucks. Undergraduate and graduate students received $5 worth of food vouchers, and students 21 and older received five beverage vouchers as well.
Matt Cosmai, SA entertainment director, said the number of vendors decreased from last year’s event because of Sunday’s weather.
“A few people dropped out and unfortunately we had to cancel Battle of the Bands because they couldn’t play outside,” Cosmai said.
“My hopes for this event are that accepted students can come by, since it’s Accepted Students Day, and they can have a good time. They can learn more about UB, but as always we want to bring the Buffalo community, like local vendors and businesses, to campus through [Untapped].”
Food trucks lined the outer rim of the parking lot. Vendors like Lloyd Tacos, Macarollin’ and The Cheesy Chick brought students everything from burritos to grilled cheese.
Chris Rowan, a vendor from The Cheesy Chick, said he participated in Untapped to provide students with quick, on-the-go food.
“My sister created the idea of The Cheesy Chick food truck about six years ago. We have been trying to get involved with as many events as possible,” Rowan said.
Hannah Phearsdorf, Four Mile Brewing promoter, said the event was a good opportunity to bring the brewing industry together.
“It’s pretty cool because we pretty much know each other,” Phearsdorf said. “We know what each other are bringing most of the time, and we work together which is the coolest part of the brewing industry.”
Phearsdorf said events like Untapped are important for breweries in order to connect with students. She said these events are valuable for the company since it is not a brewery in the Buffalo region.
“For us, we’re an hour and a half from [Buffalo], unlike the other ones here that are local,” Phearsdorf said. “This is a really good way for us to get our names out there and get people to know and recognize us.”
Cosmai said five bands were scheduled to perform at the event’s Battle of the Bands competition, which would have cost $350. The winner of the competition would have received $200.
“I am disappointed it got cancelled, though, that’s not a lot of money for the students to work on that for so long and then they can’t even play,” Cosmai said. “But we have to do what we have to do for safety reasons.”
Amber Palmer, senior pharmacology and toxicology major, said she enjoyed the bands' performances in past years.
“I’ve come in the past and the performances were really fun,” Palmer said. “I feel a little sad, but I know it would have really been hard to play in the cold.”
Adam Behrendt, senior industrial engineering major, said he attended the event for the first time this year. He said the event was important for him as a senior, but was disappointed to find the performance canceled.
“I’m honestly not too happy about the Battle of the Bands being canceled,” Behrendt said. “I know some local bands were supposed to perform that my friends are in, but I guess it didn’t work out.”
Despite the cancelation, hundreds of students braved the weather to enjoy the rare variety of food trucks, which are typically not allowed on campus. Palmer said she enjoyed the food options offered and would like UB to consider bringing more food trucks on campus.
"I feel like it's a little inconvenient that there aren't more food trucks on campus," Palmer said. "There are a lot of different options for food trucks, and it would be good to have more options available for students."
SA will look into rescheduling Battle of the Bands this spring, according to Cosmai. If a new date doesn’t work out, Cosmai said the event could be scheduled for the fall.