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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

This Saturday, one of Gainesville’s signature downtown events, the Original Gainesville Food Truck Rally, is returning to High Dive.

For this event, patrons can try an array of food choices from local and visiting vendors stationed in the venue’s parking area.

Vendors aim to provide options for all patrons, so vegetarian and vegan cuisine will be available, and both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages will be served. In addition to available food and drink options, there will be live music performed by local artists Artemis, The Whiskey Dicks, Julien Kozak, Dr. John and the Medicine Show and the Homebodies beginning at 7 p.m.

The Original Gainesville Food Truck Rally takes place every six weeks and is in its third year. In 2013, when High Dive began hosting these events, there were a select few food trucks in Gainesville, and only six trucks participated in the rally alongside local musicians.

Despite its smaller beginnings, Glory Days Presents’ Pat Lavery described the first rally as “a big success … Our lot was completely full within 10 minutes of beginning.”

Since then, the rallies have exploded in popularity; High Dive had to add extra seating this year to accommodate the crowds.

“(It’s like a) mini festival right there in the middle of downtown,” Lavery said.

In addition to food and entertainment, patrons can also do some good by voting for their favorite vendor by making a donation in the vendor’s respective bucket.

All of the proceeds collected from these donations go to Impact Gainesville, the Alpha Epsilon Delta prehealth honor society’s philanthropy division. This fall, Impact Gainesville is working with the nonprofit Florida Diabetes Camp, which helps to educate and empower children living with type 1 diabetes.

High Dive has been hosting the rallies in connection with philanthropic endeavors for about a year and a half, Lavery said. Each event works with a different charity through the unique voting process, and Lavery estimated they have raised about $15,000 in the past year for charity.

No cover charge will be required for entry into the rally or concert, but patrons are encouraged to bring cash because not all vendors will be able to take credit. Those planning to attend Saturday’s event are requested to use available street parking and avoid using other businesses’ parking areas.

Attendees wait in line for Cora's Kitchen food truck at the third-annual Original Gainesville Food Truck rally in January, 2016.

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