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Saturday, January 28, 2023

First international food truck rally comes to Gainesville

<p><span>Johnny Ho, the co-owner of Lulu’s Gelato, takes a break in his food truck Sunday afternoon during the First International Food Truck Rally at First Magnitude Brewing Company. Ho and his wife, Tina, have been in the food industry for close to five decades, but now they focus on their gelato truck which they named after their granddaughter Lulu. They make small-batch gelato and sorbetto. Their food truck is normally located at the Jonesville Persimmon and Fruit Tree Nursery. </span></p>

Johnny Ho, the co-owner of Lulu’s Gelato, takes a break in his food truck Sunday afternoon during the First International Food Truck Rally at First Magnitude Brewing Company. Ho and his wife, Tina, have been in the food industry for close to five decades, but now they focus on their gelato truck which they named after their granddaughter Lulu. They make small-batch gelato and sorbetto. Their food truck is normally located at the Jonesville Persimmon and Fruit Tree Nursery. 

First Magnitude Brewing Company hosted a trip around the world on Sunday. 

The international food truck rally, hosted in partnership with MA Latin Entertainment, made its debut at 3 p.m. with 24 trucks featuring cuisines such as Mexican, British and Italian. About 3,000 people attended the free event, which also included Latin music and jazz music. 

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Tinker Food Truck displays some of their delicious sandwiches at Sunday’s First International Food Truck Rally at First Magnitude Brewery. First Magnitude and MA Entertainment co-hosted the event, which had food and activities for guests of all ages. Tinker Food Truck is normally located at 3300 SW. Archer road.

Attendees were also able to donate to Gainesville Girls Rock Camp, which teaches adolescent girls how to play instruments and perform in a band. Donation jars for the non-profit organization sat at the front of food trucks. 

Marta Antron, an event organizer with MA Latin Entertainment, wasn’t sure how much the entire event cost, but the organization spent about $1,000 for advertising and about $100 for music. She decided to plan an international event because of her success with hosting Latinx events in the past.

“It’s something multicultural because you can try food from different parts of the world in just one spot,” she said. 

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Kevin Swarm, 33-year-old healthcare professional, bites into a cuban sub at the First International Food Truck Rally at First Magnitude Brewing Company. “I have no clue where it came from,” Swarm said. “Someone was like ‘Hey do you want 1/8th of a cuban sub’ and I was like hell yeah I do!” 

Andrew O’Connor, a 24-year-old UF material science doctoral student, said he goes to the brewery often and attended the food truck rally with two classmates. He ate sweet fried plantains and croquettes, but the chicken empanadas from the Arepas Milko food truck were his favorite. 

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Raul Robles and Noemi Hernandez dance to Latin tunes Sunday evening from musician Iris, la Dama del Mambo. The pair were the only two on the dance floor encouraging others to join along.

O’Connor said he’s gone to food truck rallies in other cities, but this was his first one in Gainesville.

“I was pretty impressed with the speed of service of First Mag,” he said. “Overall, it was a well-attended event.”  

Contact Lina Ruiz at lruiz@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @lina_ruiz48.

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Johnny Ho, the co-owner of Lulu’s Gelato, takes a break in his food truck Sunday afternoon during the First International Food Truck Rally at First Magnitude Brewing Company. Ho and his wife, Tina, have been in the food industry for close to five decades, but now they focus on their gelato truck which they named after their granddaughter Lulu. They make small-batch gelato and sorbetto. Their food truck is normally located at the Jonesville Persimmon and Fruit Tree Nursery. 

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