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Tampa Mayor's Food Truck Fiesta

Tampa, Florida -- Don't know what to do for lunch today?  Why not head over to downtown Tampa to find out what the food truck craze is all about.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn is kicking off the first Mayor's Food Truck Fiesta near Gaslight Park from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

The Mayor was so impressed by the food truck rally a few months ago in Hyde Park that attracted thousands of people, he wanted to make it a regular event in downtown.

And so, the Mayor's Food Truck Fiesta was born.  The first Wednesday of every month, food trucks will line up to introduce hungry customers to the street food trend that's gaining popularity  in Tampa Bay.

"Creating a hip downtown requires thinking outside of the box," said Mayor Bob Buckhorn. "This is exactly the kind of event that will generate a buzz and excitement in our urban core."

But, some restaurant owners in downtown, like Bill Nelligar say the event is a double whammy, taking away business.

Nelligar tells 10 News he's not happy the mayor is inviting food trucks into downtown, even if it is once a month, because it's creating competition for the bricks and mortar restaurants that have made the commitment to downtown. 

Nelligar says they're already competing with the Downtown Market on Friday's when some restaurants see a drop in the important Friday profits by as much as 90%.

"It's a financial impact we can't absorb," said Nelligar, who has started a petition he plans to take to the city.  He had 12 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon.

He says it makes more sense to hold these events on weekends.

"Why aren't we doing this on a weekend when you can get people back into the city. If you want to spot light the city, you really can't be doing that at the expense of the business owners," said Nelligar.

There are 10 trucks slated to attend today's event: 

  • Killer Samich
  • Taco Bus
  • Burger Culture
  • Fat Tortillas
  • Jerk Hut
  • Coconut Bo's
  • Nelly Nel's
  • Fire Monkey
  • Gone Banana
  • Wiched 'Wiches

    Where:  downtown Tampa on Franklin Street, between Madison Street and Kennedy Boulevard.

    Pinellas County will soon be joining in on the food truck rally trend on November 19th in Largo at 508 W. Bay Drive from 11am-3pm.

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