Crispy, ooey-gooey grilled cheese goodness

Patrons line up at Mom & M's food truck, waiting to sample creative grilled cheese combinations like jalapeno popper and pineapple honey walnut. (Cayla Grace Murphy)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – The morning sun was bright, live jam band tunes were pumping and the air held a distinct aroma of crispy, ooey-gooey grilled cheese in Hanceville on Saturday, May 27 when hordes of grilled cheese connoisseurs gathered downtown for the third annual Grilled Cheese Festival.

Many of the food trucks present took the event as a challenge to showcase their wildest grilled cheese combinations, from savory crabmeat and shrimp to tangy fried green tomato paired with thick bacon, and even dessert-style sandwiches like sweet strawberry and cream cheese making an appearance. For the grilled cheese purists, classic white bread and American cheese varieties were also available.

The event was packed with patrons weaving between booths peddling handmade wares ranging from wreaths, crocheted goods, thrown pottery and more.

Festival organizers Valerie Hitt, Nolan Bradford and Mike Macon shared a clear and unifying sentiment: this year was the biggest and best.

Bradford said events like Saturday’s help drive traffic into Hanceville. “Events like this will help grow Hanceville and attract new businesses and families to our area,” he said.

Macon echoed the idea that the event made the “perfect family fun day.” Strollers dotted the downtown streets, with families stopping to get their faces painted, their favorite animal in twisted balloon form or to bounce off some extra energy in the inflatables.

Hitt said she was very pleased with the turnout and is already formulating next year’s event, saying, “What another great year this turned out to be! We hope everyone had a great time and we look forward to next year.”

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