Food, music, camels: ingredients behind the success of REB’s Foodie Fest

Students take photos and pet Moses the camel at Foodie Fest. Photo by Kalin Sipes.

Upbeat music and the aroma of food filled the air as crowds of students flocked to Pida Plaza for this year’s Foodie Fest event hosted by Rebel Events Board (REB). 

Held on April 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the event featured a handful of local food trucks, a mini petting zoo and a booth where students could get airbrushed tattoos. 

Catered by local food trucks like Kona Ice, Cravin’ Creole and The Raider Claw, students gathered around the tables at Pida Plaza for music and free food. The event also provided a fun getaway for students from the mounting stress of the end of the semester. 

“I heard about this event from Instagram and I’d definitely come to one of these events again. It’s a nice break from classes,” said UNLV student Daejah Dennis. 

“So what’s really exciting about specifically this event is seeing students being able to embrace the campus community more,” said Andrew Falanga, a member of REB. “A lot of our students are commuters and a lot of our events are held at night after classes, so it was great to see people come on campus and finally have the place to connect and meet new people.”

Students who attended the event were given a wristband that granted them access to the various trucks and events, like the petting zoo. 

A fan favorite of last year, the petting zoo returned to this year’s Foodie Fest. The zoo featured goats, ducks, chickens and the beloved camel. Students gathered around the pens to bond with newfound fuzzy friends while snapping a few selfies. 

“I brought him for the first time in 2014, he was young. It’s been a lot of years we’ve been coming, and it’s typically on a Wednesday. It’s fun to see a camel on hump day,” said Nancy Rouas, owner of Moses the camel.

“The camels, like students, enjoy the interaction. Camels are very used to being around humans since they’re a domesticated animal,” added Rouas. 

When asked about the process of setting up the event, REB events director Luis Plascencia said, “We tried to incorporate AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) month into the event, so we wanted to feature Asian and Pacific Islander foods, like the seafood trucks and the Kona Ice truck. We also reached out to the AAPI club at UNLV for a dance performance, and they did a great job in really adding to the event.”

REB also hosted this event in conjunction with CSUN, since the event fell on election day. Students who voted in the CSUN election were given $10 food vouchers for food delivery services as well. Vouchers ran out about an hour before the event ended due to a massive turnout. 

“With it [Foodie Fest] happening on the same day as the CSUN elections, we collaborated with them too to get students to vote while celebrating AAPI month. Foodie Fest, CSUN elections, and a camel on hump day–it all worked out,” Plascencia said.

The event proved successful, with the only critique from students being that some trucks ran out of food, or that there weren’t enough trucks for the number of students in attendance. 

“After waiting in line for about 30 minutes, one of the trucks put up a sign that said they sold out. There were too many people, and I don’t think they had enough trucks out there. Other than that, it was a cool time though,” said UNLV student Anthony Lasuba. For further information regarding REB’s upcoming events, check out its Instagram page @rebunlv.


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