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Food Network to film at Lockport’s Old Canal Days

An antique tractor thshoots out steam is display Lockport's Old Canal Days festival. | Frank Vaisvilas/For Sun-Times Media

An antique tractor that shoots out steam is on display at Lockport's Old Canal Days festival. | Frank Vaisvilas/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: July 16, 2014 6:41AM



Adding a section for gourmet food trucks might prove to be one of the best decisions organizers of this year’s Old Canal Days festival in Lockport have made.

That move attracted the attention of producers at the Food Network who decided to feature some of the food trucks in a new TV show called “Carnival Eats.”

Giuseppe and Antonella Badalamenti who own the Chicago Pizza Boss truck said they’ve been asked by the show’s producers to feature their pesto sausage and caramelized onions pizza and their black and blue fries.

“They’re two really strong flavors,” Giuseppe said.

The Westmont couple started their business venture in October and Giuseppe said the large truck helps them get noticed while their food keeps people coming back.

For the TV show, Lauren Woodell, who owns the Husky Hog BBQ food truck, said she’ll feature her pulled pork loaded tater tots.

She said she’ll also try to plug the opening of her restaurant next month in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood near U.S. Cellular Field.

The festival’s food truck court also includes trucks specializing in sweets, such as Steve Buresh’s pop-up Cheesecake Store based out of Giovan’s Restaurant in Crest Hill and Beavers Donuts which regularly sets up shop in Chicago’s downtown French Market.

Nicole Mowery tried the S’mores donut and the Nutella and strawberry donut from Beavers.

“They were delicious,” she said.

The lifelong Lockport resident said she likes the addition of the food truck court this year.

Mowery said she’s been coming to the festival every year and it previously only offered typical carnival food, but the specialty trucks have much tastier food and is “somewhat cheaper.”

Rick Lindgreen enjoyed the mac and cheese from Husky Hog and also approved of the food truck court.

“It’s a nice concept,” Lindgreen said.

Old Canal Days offers a lot more than food.

The festival is meant to celebrate the history of Lockport as an important location along the Illinois and Michigan Canal which helped develop the entire Chicago region in its early years.

This story is told through historical reenactors along the Old Canal and at Heritage Village, a group of small historical buildings in downtown Lockport.

The festival also includes a carnival, LED hula-hooping, duck races, live music entertainment, a beer tent and a wine tent.

“It’s a nice family event,” said Jodi Herman, one of the festival’s organizers. “We have a great mix between history and fun.”

Old Canal Days started Thursday with a carnival and runs through Sunday evening with most historical attractions and the craft show closing by 4 or 5 p.m. A schedule can be found at oldcanaldays.com.

The TV series will premiere in August on Food Network Canada, the Cooking Channel U.S. and the Great American Country Network.



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