Puddles replaced long lines of hungry people Saturday during the fourth Food Truck Rodeo on James Island, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of those in attendance.
Rodeo attendees huddled under awnings and tents or scurried to their cars until the lightning-laced thunderstorm passed just before dark.
Participants enjoyed everything from barbecue to snow cones and doughnuts at the roundup of seven food vendors under the sprawling oaks at Brick House Kitchen on Folly Road.
Amena Smith of James Island munched down on a treat from Roti Rolls while sipping on a cold brew beside the bandstand before the storm rolled in.
“I like being outside, and the music is really cool,” she said.
Suha Beall of James Island bought a Tiger Blood and Sweet Lime treat from Happy Camper Snowballs for her son, Kadin, 5, and daughter, Rania, 8.
“I really like the variety of food,” she said.
Her husband, Greg, added, “It’s great, down under a nice canopy of trees.”
From inside the snowball truck, vendor Rena Lasch said the event builds on community spirit and brings people together.
“That’s the whole idea,” she said. “You can slow down and take a little vacation from all the running around.”
Matt Burgess of Charleston hasn’t missed a rodeo yet.
While gobbling down his selection from Pot Kettle Black, Burgess said he liked that the food trucks visit various venues around the metro area and he loves the variety.
“Every time they have one, I will be here,” he said, just before the rain-soaking clouds darkened the event.
“This has been a great rodeo, even with the rain,” said Laura Carone, who owns Pot Kettle Black with her husband, Jon Caton. “It’s such an eclectic crowd. We like to say we take the pretension out of good food.”
Even Sara Winslow of San Francisco, who drove to Charleston for the weekend with her friend Mina Rhee of Atlanta, found the event intriguing.
“It’s awesome,” Winslow said, while waiting out the storm under an awning. “This is a great venue, and the weather is really nice too,” she added with a smile.
“Plus, we get to talk to people we otherwise wouldn’t get to talk to,” Rhee said, referring to her new acquaintances bunched together out of the rain.
“This was a really good turnout,” said Ryner Burg, who owns Hello My Name Is BBQ with her husband, W.S. Cody Burg.
“We like being mobile and small because we can change every day,” Ryner Burg said.
The restaurants on wheels come together under the umbrella-group, Charleston Food Truck Federation.
“We decided to get together to make ourselves known,” Ryner Burg said.
Look for the next rodeo on Aug. 20 at a site to be determined, Burg said.