TROY — Foodies — and, well, anyone who just likes to eat, get ready. The Miami County Food Truck Rally & Competition returns for the second year from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. May 21, at the Miami County Fairgrounds.
Sponsored by the Miami County Fair Board, the inaugural event drew thousands of people, according to organizers, who hope to bring the fundraiser back year after year.
“We’re excited about the feedback from last year,” said committee member Roberta Jacobs. “People were asking if it was coming back, and it is. The enthusiasm from the community has been amazing,”
As of right now, 43 food trucks are signed up to attend the second annual event, and a few more could be added, and she said the rally will offer a little something for everyone.
“There is a really good variety, from hot dogs to loaded tater tots to a bacon bomb,” she said. “You just name it and we are going to have it.”
She said Thai, Asian, Mexican, Korean and Hawaiian cultures will be represented, to name a few. The event also will feature sandwiches of every kind imaginable, Jacobs said, in pitas, barbecue, Philly steak and cheese and Po’ boys.
Side items will include everything from French fries, deep fried mushrooms and onion rings to soft pretzels and cole slaw.
For those with special dietary needs, there’s no need to worry, Jacobs said. That is taken care of as well. She said gluten-free, vegetarian, sugar-free and kid-friendly items also are on the menu at the various trucks.
And then there’s the desserts. Waffles, cookies, cupcakes and ice cream — and everything in between — will be located on the fairgrounds during the event, she said.
You’ll also need something to wash all that food down with, so visit a new truck coming to the rally, Shannon’s Southern Style Sweet Tea, which offers different flavors of tea, or there will be blended fruit and veggie drinks, shaved ice and beer and wine for sale.
Jacobs said one of the criticisms of last year’s rally was that people ate at a food booth or two and were full, not getting to try many of the other booths. For this reason, Jacobs said they have asked vendors, if possible, to sell more smaller-sized portions of their specialties.
But Jacobs also has done her research during the last year and offers tips for attending a food rally, starting with going in a group. She said to participate in a food rally, for ultimate success, bring four to six friends or family members with you.
“The more the merrier,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs’ suggestions for a fun food truck rally include:
1. Find a picnic table or other location to make your campsite for the day.
2. Split up and everyone go get something different to eat and meet back at “your place.”
3. Share your cuisine and enjoy each other’s company and the entertainment available at the fairgrounds.
4. Have a beer, glass of wine, soda, water or other drink available at the event.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4.
6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 again, maybe this time concentrating on sweet treats.
“Come, support the fair board and make a day out of it,” she said.
The Merchants’ building will be open for attendees to eat inside out of the sun or in case of inclement weather, Jacobs said.
While you’re enjoying all the food truck rally has to offer, entertainment will be plentiful throughout the day, beginning with the Troy Strawberry Festival’s Home.Grown.Talent. semi-finals at noon. DJ Bruce Adamson will offer music beginning at 3 p.m., followed by The American Kings, a classic ’50s-’60s band beginning at 6:30 p.m.
“They are phenomenal,” said Jacobs, adding that the band dresses in clothes from the era.
The Miami Valley Kruzers car club will have a car show on the fairgrounds throughout the day, and arts and crafts and direct sales vendors will be set up in the Poultry building.
“We have filled that up this year, which is very exciting,” Jacobs said of the arts and crafts area.
At 1 p.m., non-betting harness racing — practice for the horses and jockeys for the upcoming season — will be offered at the stadium.
“It’s more of an exhibition racing type thing so you can see what is coming in harness racing this year,” she said.
During the rally, the fairgrounds also will be host to both the Miami County Classic Wether Goat Show beginning at 9 a.m. and the Upper Valley Fiber Fest 2016 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jacobs said the rally will begin a little early for those attending the goat show, as one of the vendors will start the day offering breakfast featuring homemade sausage beginning at 7:30 a.m.
Jacobs said this year, being part of the judged event is optional with all vendors. Awards for the event will include a choice of mixer or slicer provided by ITW Hobart of Troy for first place, a generator donated by Honda Powersports of Troy for second place and a gift card for third place, which will be the People’s Choice award.
Jacobs said the fundraiser had a lot of start-up expenses last year, but still managed to make money and she looks forward to the improvements the board can make to the fairgrounds with the proceeds from this year’s event.
“The upkeep of the grounds is costly and there are lots of improvements we would like to make and this will help toward the goal,” she said.
Beyond that, being able to showcase the fairgrounds and show people the buildings that are available to rent and what they have to offer also makes the event a success, she said.
Anyone interested in volunteering for the rally can leave a message on the event’s Facebook page at Miami County Food Truck Rally & Competition or call Roberta Jacobs at (937) 266-2914.
Reach Melody Vallieu at (937) 552-2131 or [email protected]