Ramen festival draws huge, hungry crowd

September 19, 2013 by  

Thousands of food lovers descended upon the Torrance Cultural Arts Center over the September 14 weekend. They were all there to celebrate a food best known for its appeal to cash-strapped college students. For two days, the Ramen Yokocho Fest fêted the salty comfort food in all its forms.

While event organizers were anticipating only about a thousand ramen devotees at a time, attendees numbered over 2,000 before noon on Saturday. This resulted in many long lines, some requiring an hour of patience from the hungry crowds. Lines were especially long in front of the most popular vendors.

Many of the vendors were from the Los Angeles area, but some traveled long distances to present their favorite ramen dishes. The headliner of the event, Ramen Bannai, is based in Fukushima, Japan, and Torrance’s own Jidaiya was present. With such a range of providers, the offerings were as different as they were delicious. Customers could try everything from a traditional chicken broth ramen to a ramen hamburger, which is a hamburger served on a sculpted, grilled ramen bun.

The event was so popular that event organizers had to close the lines early on Saturday evening due to vendors selling out of their supplies. When they reopened on Sunday morning, the festival proved just as popular. The long lines and crowds continued all day.

Flyer printing and poster printing were a large part of the promotional plan, as posters and flyers featuring photos of 12 of the dishes available to attendees were distributed and posted in visible areas before the event.