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

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Mortgage nightmare for Plant City couple

    Mortgage nightmare for Plant City couple

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-16 03:44:22 GMT
    Karl and Vicktoria Hanson thought their foreclosure nightmare was long over. It may be just beginning.
    Karl and Vicktoria Hanson thought their foreclosure nightmare was long over. It may be just beginning.
  • Bradenton massage therapist banned from contact with women by state

    Bradenton massage therapist banned from contact with women by state

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-04-15 21:03:21 GMT
    The Florida Department of Health says it served licensed massage therapist Kevin Joseph Holmes, 60, with an emergency order Tuesday morning that bans him from working with female clients.The Florida Department of Health says it served licensed massage therapist Kevin Joseph Holmes, 60, with an emergency order Tuesday morning that bans him from working with female clients.
    The Florida Department of Health says it served licensed massage therapist Kevin Joseph Holmes, 60, with an emergency order Tuesday morning that bans him from working with female clients.The order says Holmes "unrestricted practice as a massage therapist with female clients constitutes an immediate serious danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the public
    The Florida Department of Health says it served licensed massage therapist Kevin Joseph Holmes, 60, with an emergency order Tuesday morning that bans him from working with female clients.The order says Holmes "unrestricted practice as a massage therapist with female clients constitutes an immediate serious danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the public
  • State takes emergency action against Bradenton massage therapist after 8 On Your Side investigation

    State takes emergency action against Bradenton massage therapist after 8 On Your Side investigation

    Monday, April 14 2014 7:09 PM EDT2014-04-14 23:09:06 GMT
    Kevin Holmes, massage therapistKevin Holmes, massage therapist
    According topolice records Kevin Holmes, age 60, toldinvestigators the client he gave a therapeutic massage to last month"was an attractive girl, plain and simple."It turns out she was also an off-duty detective, and Holmes said what he did to her was "absolutely inapproriate."
    According topolice records Kevin Holmes, age 60, toldinvestigators the client he gave a therapeutic massage to last month"was an attractive girl, plain and simple."It turns out she was also an off-duty detective, and Holmes said what he did to her was "absolutely inapproriate."
  • 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.