By Amelia Robinson | Dayton Daily News
The food trucks are here and they are preparing for a rally.
Dayton’s first ever food truck rally will take over RiverScape MetroPark during Urban Night 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, said organizer Tonia Fish, the co-owner of Synergy Incubators, a business that provides kitchen space and other services to small caterers, bakeries and other food industry businesses.
Seven food trucks and a cart will take part in the event, but Fish said Dayton has at least 20 existing or in the works food trucks.
The businesses recently launched the Miami Valley Mobile Food Association with Fressa Truck owner Matt Halpin as its president.
The group hopes to help the city establish rules regarding food trucks, Fish said.
There has historically been a stigma attached to food trucks, but Fish said these are legitimate businesses with great potential.
Several of Dayton’s food trucks sell gourmet food.
“These trucks pay taxes. They have employees,” she said. “It (a food truck) is a pathway to bricks and mortar restaurants. Eighty five percent want to open a restaurant.”
The food truck movement has gained ground in other communities in recent years.
Five Rivers Metroparks spokeswoman Amy Forsthoefel said the rally is a perfect fit for Riverscape on Urban Night.
She is a food truck fan.
“I just think it is inventive. It is a lot of young people who are agile and they are trying new things,” Forsthoefel said.
Fish said food trucks add to a community’s vibrancy and can help draw crowds to entertainment districts.
“People feel safe. They walk around,” she said. “The community support for street food is huge in Dayton.”
The trucks that will participate in Friday’s event are just a sampling of what Dayton area offers.
Participants include Fressa Truck, Go Cupcakes, Mr. McNasty’s, Harvest Mobile Cuisine, Zombie Dogz,
Ringo’s North Star Mobile Eatery, Monchon “The Social Sandwich” and the Craig’s Pesto Hot Dogs, a cart.
G’s Cue BBQ will be at Third and Broadway streets in Wright-Dunbar Neighborhood on Urban Night.
“All of these are people who live in Dayton,” Fish said. “We didn’t recruit anyone from Cincinnati or Columbus. These people are our neighbors.”
Several food trucks will open for business in the coming weeks, Fish said.
She pointed to Jamexican, Jamaican and Mexican fusion; La Pampa Grill, Argentina food; Bella Sorella, brick oven pizza; and Flour Power, also pizza.
Contact this blogger at arobinson@DaytonDailyNews.com or Twitter.com/DDNSmartMouth