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Monday, April 15, 2024

Gainesville Original Food Truck Rally back for Fall 2014

When the first Original Gainesville Food Truck Rally opened one Saturday in January 2013, thousands of people lined up to sample food from six local food trucks.

“We started at 7 p.m.,” Pat Lavery, owner of Glory Days Presents!, said. “By 7:10 you couldn’t see the pavement.”

Lavery, who handles promotions and bookings for downtown bar and venue High Dive, said the food-truck rally idea came to him when he learned that other towns hosted similar events. At the time, “The Great Food Truck Race” was gaining popularity on the Food Network, and the Pelican Brothers Food Truck was already a fixture in High Dive’s parking lot.

Since then, the rallies have doubled in size and grown to include screenings of college football games and performances by local musicians. On Saturday night, more than nine food trucks will serve cuisines ranging from the Pelican Brothers’ signature chicken and waffles with maple gravy to wood-fired pizza at Humble Pie and Asian-fusion at Heart & Seoul. Plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options will also be available at the rally.

Saturday’s rally will also feature a new vendor: Mojo Grill, an Ocala-based restaurant and catering company that offers a variety of Latin American- and Cajun/Creole-inspired dishes.

In order to foster a festival-inspired atmosphere, Lavery said, the rally will also include new kid-friendly activities like face-painting and glitter tattoo stations.

The rally starts at 5 p.m., and admission is free. Though Gainesville ordinances prohibit alcohol to be taken outside during the rally, High Dive’s full bar will be open inside serving its signature fresh fruit-infused vodka Mason jar drinks.

[A version of this story ran on page 7 on 9/25/2014]

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