Food truck traffic is getting heavy. After 3,000 people showed up for Tampa's first food truck rally in Hyde Park last month, organizers Tasting Tampa and web design firm 352 Media promptly scheduled a second one for Saturday at Christ Fellowship of Tampa, 3000 E Sligh Ave., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., doubling the number of trucks from less than 10 to more than 20.
According to organizer Todd Sturtz, the local embrace of food trucks is no surprise.
"I kind of anticipated it," Sturtz said. "I thought the size of Tampa and the local food community would support any trend, and food trucks were a trend waiting to happen."
And now Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is getting in the convoy. Announced Monday, the mayor, who evidently had a great time at the Hyde Park event, will launch his own food truck rally on Wednesday, Nov. 2, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lykes Gaslight Park on Franklin Street between Madison Street and Kennedy Boulevard. The lineup of food vendors will be announced next week; this weekend's participants include Fire Monkey Food Truck, Michelle Faedo's On the Go, 3 Ballers Traveling Bistro, the Taco Bus, Fat Tortillas Southwest Grill, the Killer Samich Truck, the Cuppin Cake, Buddy Brew Coffee and more.
Sturtz, who is helping the mayor select trucks for the rally, predicts the lineup will have some razzle-dazzle.
"The trucks we're trying to focus on are the larger ones with the big graphic wraps and the full-scale kitchens, probably 10 or 11 trucks total — but the cool, flashy ones. The mayor wants to make that kind of statement. He wanted to emphasize that he's in full support of the food truck scene and the coming trend."
The Mayor's Food Truck Fiesta will continue in downtown on the first Wednesday of every month.