The Black Food Truck Festival in Ladson, South Carolina is gearing up for its fourth annual get-together this weekend.

When Marcus Hammond moved to Charleston to play basketball for the College of Charleston, he fell in love with the city, the Post and Courier reported. After graduation, he stayed in the area and worked in the banking industry as a relationship manager. In 2022, he created the Black Food Truck Festival, which brought out 5,000 guests during its first year.

“We’ve got everything from the diaspora to Gullah Geechee to soul food, seafood, Charleston staples like the chewies, Gullah rice and red rice,” he said.

Due to the festival’s quick rise in popularity, Hammond left his corporate job to focus on the event full-time to ensure that he and his team produced a successful customer-driven occasion.

“Two things that have really guided me, [with] the first one being the customer is not always right, but the customer is always first,” he told Post and Courier. “So, everything we do with the festival, we keep the attendees in mind first.”

He added, “We do our best to make sure everybody is safe, and we do our best to make sure that everybody has a good time. We aim for that perfection knowing that we’ll fall short. But it’s always our aim.”

This year, over 15,000 people are estimated to come out and fill up the Exchange Park Fairgrounds with most attendees expected to come from states nearby like North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

Hammond shared some new additions to the festival that include “Rhythms & Booze” (April 26), The Melanin x BFTF AM Workout (April 27) and the “Trappyoke” Afterparty” (April 28).

“Those are tweaks that we have made seeing the data that a lot of people came here from out of town. So, [it’s] what we wanted to do [with] Charleston being No. 1 in tourism hands down throughout the country for more than the last decade. But oftentimes, when we see those tourist attractions, they’re not always guided toward Black-curated events,” Hammond explained. “So, what we wanted to do is change the narrative from people thinking of the deep south, old Charleston, to being able to come to Charleston for a full weekend and experience Black culture and Charleston, curated by Black people.”

For more information about the Black Food Truck Festival, visit the website.