Lakeland Food Truck Rally celebrates 1st birthday - WFLA News Channel 8

Lakeland Food Truck Rally celebrates 1st birthday

Posted: Updated:
LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -

Lakeland's downtown Food Truck Rally celebrates its first birthday tonight. The event consistently draws crowds of more than 3,000 people but hasn't always been embraced by local businesses.

When the idea for the Food Truck Rally first circulated some bricks and mortar business owners raised a red flag.

Chris McArthur, owner of Black & Brew Coffee House & Bistro, was among the restaurateurs who feared food trucks would be a threat to his business.

"My initial reaction was I didn't want to open a Pandora's box," McArthur said. " I was worried that that would invite food trucks in on a permanent basis, and I don't feel that we have the density in downtown to support that."

Over at Palace Pizza owner Giovanni Moriello and his family were also initially concerned about the rally.

"It was kind of scary. I was kind of worried, and you know I didn't think it was smart," Moreillo said.

But a strange and surprisingly sweet thing happened for some of the permanent businesses in downtown Lakeland. The Food Truck Rally actually increased their business.

"Just right off the bat we had increased business on those Thursday nights," MacArthur said.

Palace Pizza estimates their business is up 20%-30% on the second Thursday of each month when the Food Truck Rally is in town.

" Cause a lot of people will go there. They'll see the lines. The lines are too long, and they don't want to wait, and they end up coming here or they go up the street, but it brings a lot of foot traffic down here," Moriello said.

Lakeland's anniversary Food Truck Rally takes place tonight from 6-9pm in downtown's Munn Park. It features about 25 trucks from all over Central Florida that are all part of the Tampa Bay Food Truck Rally group.

Related Content: Mobile Food truck feast expands in Tampa

Don’t miss out on the day’s top Facebook conversations
http://on.fb.me/18y81Cl

  • NewsMore>>

  • SWAT team invades wrong house, Sarasota woman files lawsuit

    SWAT team invades wrong house, Sarasota woman files lawsuit

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 2:23 PM EDT2014-07-30 18:23:35 GMT
    Louise Goldsberry shows where she spotted the swat team before they entered her home Louise Goldsberry shows where she spotted the swat team before they entered her home
    In July 2013, Louise Goldsberry was washing dishes in her Sarasota apartment when she saw a camouflaged man with a large weapon outside her window.
    In July 2013, Louise Goldsberry was washing dishes in her Sarasota apartment when she saw a camouflaged man with a large weapon outside her window.
  • Pinellas Health Dept. warns of parasitic disease

    Pinellas Health Dept. warns of parasitic disease

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 2:12 PM EDT2014-07-30 18:12:18 GMT
    Wikimedia Commons photo credit Ukko.deWikimedia Commons photo credit Ukko.de
    The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County is asking for the public's help to prevent the spread of Cryptosporidiosis, a disease that spreads easily in households, child-care settings and through swimming in contaminated water.
    The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County is asking for the public's help to prevent the spread of Cryptosporidiosis, a disease that spreads easily in households, child-care settings and through swimming in contaminated water.
  • Florida's CFO: Insurance customers entitled to refunds

    Florida's CFO: Insurance customers entitled to refunds

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:37 PM EDT2014-07-30 16:37:47 GMT
    Consumers who bought insurance plans but could not use them in the early days of the Affordable Care Act rollout should be able to get a refund, Florida’s chief financial officer told News Channel 8. Some customers who signed up for plans and paid premiums didn’t initially receive ID cards or numbers from insurance company Florida Blue in early 2014.
    Consumers who bought insurance plans but could not use them in the early days of the Affordable Care Act rollout should be able to get a refund, Florida’s chief financial officer told News Channel 8. Some customers who signed up for plans and paid premiums didn’t initially receive ID cards or numbers from insurance company Florida Blue in early 2014.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.