Eager to feed the demand for after-hours eats and pop-up excitement in Kalamazoo, local food trucks last year hosted the city’s first-ever Food Truck Rally.
Now, the five-event series has just announced another run for 2017 following the mouthwatering praise it earned during last spring and fall.
The Rally will take place on the first Fridays in April, May, July and September, along with a special Halloween-themed rally on Oct. 27. All five rallies will take place at the same location on Water Street, between Church Street and Rose Street.
“What so many people forget is some of the best chefs can be found behind the window of a food truck,” said Deb Droppers of the Kalamazoo Experiential Learning Center, who is managing the event series. “These amazing entrepreneurs are passionate about their food, their creations and their community. The Food Truck Rally connects the chefs and owners in a really great way to new and current customers. The food truck foodies will travel and follow their food trucks, because the food is just that good.”
Modeled after other successful food truck events in other cities, the rally is designed to reach out to millennials, college students, second-shift workers and other downtown denizens. Each event in the series features a theme, area food trucks, local artisans, photo booths, live music, contests, giveaways, and more. The event’s covered location was chosen to help improve walkability in downtown, while also reimagining the spot as the perfect place to pop in for a bite, play games, listen to music and really get into the city.
Currently, organizers estimate between 10 and 14 different food trucks, carts, trailers and other vendors will participate in bringing this year’s event series together.
“I think it is an amazing celebration of community at a grassroots level,” said Noel Corwin of Gorilla Gourmet.
Corwin, 40, opened Gorilla Gourmet in 2010. It was the first food truck of its kind in Kalamazoo and he’s since helped establish the food truck community in the city, including helping to organize the Food Truck Rally.
“To have more than 1,000 people on the street in a positive and peaceful way is really inspiring to witness,” he said. “It just makes us want to cook harder.”
Kalamazoo Food Truck Rally
April 7, May 5, July 7, Sept. 1, Oct. 27
9 p.m.-midnight, FREE
eventkalamazoo.com, (269) 388-2380